Trump Is Guilty

Feb 12, 2021 · 549 comments
Undocumented Source (Texas)
If this doesn't qualify for impeachment, then what does?
Nan Socolow (West Palm Beach, FL)
Of course Trump is guilty. Of course he tried to overturn the election and incited his loyalists to attack the Capitol and look for Pence and Democratic lawmakers to hang, to kill, to show the world that the election was stolen from him. If former president Trump is acquitted by the Republican Senators at his trial today, America can look forward to millions of Trump partisans continuing their siege against our democracy. If Trump is convicted today, won't his mobs continue their insurrection (incited by their impeached leader) to worse bloody events such as we witnessed on January 6, 2021? Is our Republic damned by Donald Trump?
Steve (Portland, ME)
Even the short-term political calculations by the most cynical among the GOP is breathtaking. In 1974, the GOP had had enough of Nixon and rightly moved on. But this generation of Republicans not only tolerate Trump's lies, corruption, and incitement of violence, they have accepted it and rationalized it as "just another day of partisan politics." It's no wonder that registered Republicans are dropping from the Party, can no longer stomach the cultism, autocracy, and violence. Do Republicans not even see that? Is this now the Party of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?
John C (ON)
@Steve: This trial is less about making Trump accountable and more about making the Republican party accountable. "When someone shows you who they really are, believe them". The world is watching.
Alan C Gregory (Mountain Home, Idaho)
@Steve The OP is now rightly called the Greedy Old Party.
Jackson (Virginia)
@Steve I think that’s the Democrats. How could they possibly appoint corrupt Omar to any committee?
Georges (Ottawa)
America democracy is a myth. Money rules your country.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Georges It's not only America where money rules. Look around. And if you think our Democracy is a myth, then you fail to realize who now sits in the White House. Look again.
Maison (El Cerrito, CA)
@Georges Money is powerful throughout the world. People with great wealth can affect how their countries operate. Its just that the United States being the largest capitalist nation has influence by money become most pronounced. It not clear how we can get out of this situation.
Peter MacLean (Oak Bluffs)
@Georges I understand your cynicism, but tell that to my daughter, a young mother of two who was elected last year to her town’ s board of selectmen and passionately dives head first into the issues that effect her and future welfare of her family. Tell that to the thousands of her fellow young Americans who, in a direct response to the awful reality of Trump have entered the political arena in local and regional races across the broad swath of the country. These young people are imbued from the cradle with the notion that they live in a pluralistic and democratic society that requires the participation of all. It is inspiring to witness first hand in our family and fills me with optimism and the fervent belief that the Trump presidency was an historical anomaly.
Richard (Ohio)
I toured the American cemetery in Normandy, France recently. It was moving and powerful, a memorial to the bravery of over 6,000 men and women who died in the Battle of Normandy in WWII, protecting us from the autocratic evil of Nazi fascism and insuring the preservation of democracy. Their sacrifice shall be wiped aside and spat upon when Trump’s Republican cultist senators vote to acquit. Let’s face facts: the Republican Party seeks the destruction of democracy and the installation of an autocracy. That is not hyperbole. Forty percent of Americans no longer want to live in a democracy. The death of the Great American Experiment, brought to you by Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
Joel J (Emerson, NJ)
I'm afraid that even if Mr. Trump were caught on video murdering someone in cold blood or handing Mr. Putin top intelligence secrets Senate Republicans would look the other way. Unfortunately many of them believe these conspiracy theories and are themselves white supremacists. As such many will vote to not convict. Mr Trump's behavior inciting insurrection meets the definition of treason. The framers of the constitution had the vision to include impeachment in the constitution to remove and convict a demigod President corrupt behind all comprehension and drunk with power. The framers would be rolling over in their graves.
Norina Lundy (Brooklyn New York)
@Joel J History's version of, "...even if I were to shoot a person on 5th Avenue..." This is the reference many will recognize in history classes of the future. We will never win as long as the Evangelical Right is running the show, and they are.
Ms. Pea (Seattle)
@Joel J -- Trump, himself, predicted the outcome way back in 2016 with his famous statement about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. He knew then, as he does now, that his control of the Republican Party is ironclad. Republicans stand for nothing anymore, except to protect Donald Trump. That they have chosen this man, above all others, to be their leader and the object of their unconditional devotion is shocking. But, they have shown that even when he's no longer president he still holds the ring in the nose of the party and they are compelled to mindlessly follow him.
heinryk wüste (nyc)
@Joel J No they are simply fascists, they do not believe he is innocent.
ModDemo (Seattle)
So from the day President Trump was elected, I heard a daily rant from those around me on the stupid, destructive, reckless things Trump had done the day before. It was quite tedious to me as I knew from the start that the man was completely unqualified to be president so whatever he did was going to awful at best. What I wanted to talk about was, how did he get elected and how do we get some of those that voted for him (74 million by last count,) to vote for a constructive and forward looking president? I hope Trump is impeached and I hope that after that we quit talking about him. But, what I hope most is that we talk a lot about how we get some of those that voted for Trump to vote for constructive, progressive candidates. At this moment I see all of those 74 million voters being painted with the same brush as the wackos who broke into the capitol buildings. This is not the way to unify the country nor win elections. There are Americans who voted for Trump who are kind, thoughtful, law abiding citizens and it is incumbent on the Democratic Party to find out what they can do to get these folks under the Demo tent. Saying one more thing about Trump does not do this however I realize that you may not be able to help yourself.
David (Cincinnati)
@ModDemo There are Americans who voted for Trump who are kind, thoughtful, law abiding citizens Yes, Trump's good people on both sides.
ASPruyn (California - Somewhere left of center)
ModDemo - I would be satisfied if we could turn just a majority of Trump’s following into semi-rational people, connected to reality, who would not vote for anyone like him again.
JFJ (Takoma Park MD)
@David they may be kind and law-abiding, but I simply cannot believe that anyone who voted for Trump the second time around was at all "thoughtful."
Nurse (Portland, OR)
When I hear that Republican senators are AFRAID to do their job because they fear their constituents back home will vote them out of office....all I can see is Officer Goodman, who must have been terrified of being beaten, physically disabled, or killed as he stared into the eyes of the mob who were inches away from him. But Officer Goodman did his job. The Republican senators disgust me.
Hey Jim (Florida)
Trump wasn’t interested in an extra-legal disruption of the electoral college. The evidence – emerging as late as this evening - suggests his strategy was much more sinister. If the insurrectionists had captured or killed the vice president, or a critical mass of senators or members of Congress, Trump would have declared martial law – and declared himself president, functionally forever. That’s why he didn’t help Mike Pence, why he mocked Kevin McCarthy, and why he didn’t send reinforcements to the Capitol. The evidence is overwhelming. Trump was on the mob’s side - or more to the point, the mob was on Trump's side. The United States did not have a “peaceful transition of power.” People died. We were a few minutes, and a few feet, from the successful takeover of our government. The 100 senators voting on impeachment need to remember that if Trump was willing to sacrifice his vice president, he certainly would have certainly sacrificed them.
Marcella (Melbourne, Australia.)
@Hey Jim I hope you have sent your comment to any Republican representative in your state. Well said!
Patricia (NYC)
@Hey Jim I think you’re right about that. And in his sick mind Trump believed that he could install his daughter as his Vice President. She believes that she will be the first woman president and that was her path.
Kate (Tempe)
@Hey Jim your analysis is on target. He willed the insurrection to stop the electoral resolution , create chaos (“peaceful” is a Trump lie)and upend the transfer; he would then as president be obliged to institute law and order and, in effect, become a dictator supported by martial law.
NGB (North Jersey)
I will never understand that man's snake-charmer hold on people, especially those whose lives he just deliberately put at risk. He lacks grace, charm, sympathy, and intelligence--really, he lacks most of the characteristics we like to call "human." Last night I lay awake wondering what he says to the few enablers who might momentarily seem to take issue with his actions to whip them back so quickly into submission. Case in point (only the latest)--Lindsey Graham. Or his many ex-wives. Or his children. I guess I know the answer, but I still can't fathom the willingness to abandon one's ethics altogether in favor of the lust for power (and/or perhaps money). I do have a question regarding the trial: even if one were to stipulate (as I do NOT) that his words at the rally on 6 January were meant only figuratively, and had been used in the past by other politicians with no intention of fomenting violence, can it not be said that, at that rally, when he turned to Giuliani as his surrogate for a few minutes to allow him to exhort the mob to "trial by COMBAT!" thereby ensuring that his wishes would be understood without having to take responsibility for the words themselves, it was pretty much the same thing as if he had said them himself? If I'm not mistaken he immediately praised RG's little "speech," leaving no doubt as to what he wanted. Can this not be used as evidence of his intentions? Giuliani is practically a part of Trump's body (gruesome as it is to think about that).
Mrs_I (Toronto, Canada)
@NGB That's an excellent point about Giuliani's speech - I wish the managers bring it up in their closing arguments.
Indian Prof. (Midwest)
@NGB Your first paragraph is a gem..well articulated.
Lori Wilson (Etna, California)
@NGB He hates (or intimates he hates) the same people they do. He validates their feelings. What his "base" doesn't, or can't realize is that it is all for show. Trump cares about Trump. He cares nothing for anyone else and would throw anybody and everybody under the bus if he thought it would get him what he wants.
Sharon (CT)
For me, the most notable video footage of the insurrection was the gallows set up outside the Capitol, ostensibly to hang Mike Pence. The most damning part of the trial was when one of the Impeachment managers talked about the consequences of inaction. He said, Trump could run again and lose and incite further violence. Is that what we want? As the editors state here, what better opportunity to thwart Trump's hold on his supporters than to convict him and prevent him from running again for office. The Republicans' wanton disregard for safeguarding our democracy is abhorrent.
JLA (Doylestown, PA)
Let me get this straight, Republican senators. Donald Trump is the hill you want to die on? Really?
Zee (Albuquerque)
I, too, believe that Trump is guilty. But is it any surprise that the NYT feels that too? This is a true waste of column-inches, as we used to say in the "old days." He won't be convicted, NYT, so just get on with real reporting and forget about beating a dead horse.
Common Sense (Brooklyn NY)
The conviction or not of Trump is a mere sideshow as to what is really afoot in today’s America. The mass of Americans are angry at the loss of opportunity and the growing economic divide. It is not about racial or social injustice and inequality - it’s about injustice and inequality without any qualifiers. Yes, middle and lower class white Americans over many years have been paid off with good jobs, many of them in law enforcement and corrections that have been used to keep minorities down and in check, which also stoked the racial divide in this country. Now, all that is starting to unravel, and rightfully so. But, with no prospects for improving their economic position, white Americans are as aggrieved as minority Americans. The difference being that white Americans are not only angry, they are not afraid to act out. And they are armed to the teeth. January 6 is just a foreshadowing of what the US is in for if we don’t fix the economic gulf between the elite, ruling upper class and the mass of the rest of Americans.
Nick NJ (NJ)
I agree wholeheartedly. The DC event is the warning shot over out country's bow. The simmering undercurrent that has given way to more visible and aggressive demonstration of that growing sentiment against the establishment, political corruption, self dealing and eroding middle class Americans’ quality of life. Unprecedented and some say unwarranted allowance of the crumbling middle American society in favor of movements that mask reality and forebode ever greater discord are being ignored, sacrificed. Is it really any wonder why expressions of dissent are becoming more obvious? No, the actions in DC could have been avoided, if not tempered. Yet as so many civil riots in the United States have shown, escalation of emotions overtake sanity and the unimaginable takes on a new and ugly life. This is what DC has surprisingly revealed, a new fear that is no longer undeniable. This is the underlying psychology driving the impeachment hearings. No matter if Trump is impeached or not, our “new normal “ will be far more encompassing.
Jamyang (KansasCity)
@Common Sense Aggrieved white Americans have almost unlimited prospects for improving their economic position. They just have to stop blaming other people and change their own behaviors and attitudes. Go back to school or college. Learn a useful skill. Sure, it may not be easy but thousands have already done it. We are so tired of the whining of aggrieved people who won't take responsibility for their own situations.
BW (Indianapolis)
@Jamyang Well said! White Americans, particularly White men, are so accustomed to having the best jobs and pay handed to them that when they actually have to compete with other groups, they whine it's not fair.
Glen Kaye (Salem, Oregon)
"Who are ya gonna believe?" Trump would cry. "Me or your lyin' eyes"
Trump (Supporter)
The FBI confirms the chaos was prearranged prior to the speech. Radicals were planning weeks prior to the speech. The pipe bombs were planted the day before. All prior to the speech. The speech did nothing to insight the riots. What in-sighted the march on the capital is all the lawlessness over the past 6 months in democrat run cities through the country. Aided and supported by Uncle Joe and his cronies. No shock the hateful NYT would say he was guilty. He was guilty Nov 3 2016 and has been guilty ever day since. So no mystery he folks. We can't unite the country with the most hateful people in the country running the country. So get ready for 2 more years of turmoil.
Joe B. (Center City)
The GQP shows its true color — white supremacy.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
Dear Republicans, You attempted to overthrow the government of the United States of America through a violent insurrection. Why do you hate our country so much?
Clearwater (Oregon)
Trump should have been Impeached for the entire, expensive and dividing Election Fraud Lie he and his cronies perpetrated, let alone his insurrection against our nation's Capitol. And he should have been Impeached for his abject failure and, to me, criminal negligence in handling our worst Pandemic since the Spanish Flu. How many lives are lost because of Trump's horrible politics and lies over that? But just this latest abomination of anti-Americanness started at 2:30am Wednesday, November 4, 2020 and it grew exponentially from there and look what it did. Dang near started a second Civil War. He should have been Impeached for all of his gross misconducts and criminal behavior and there should have been a Country Over Party congress of Republicans but instead we got his dumb lackey coconspirators. Now look at us. We've been attacked and half of those attacked are saying, "Nothing to see here". Or, how about this new lie, "You folks that obviously didn't attack us, you are actually the ones that attacked us!" Referring to the lie gaining steam now that a secret cabal of Antifa and Dems were behind it. I said it the second Trump won in 2016 - This will all end in tears. But now I'm afraid it hasn't even ended yet. It might just be beginning.
Bodoc (Montauk, NY)
William Tecumseh Sherman: "I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy." --->Civil War won, Reconstruction commencing and Black legislators able to be elected. Compromise of 1876 --> Jim Crow, terrorism to this day. Those who don't learn from history...
ben (syracuse ny)
We know what republicans will do. Whats going on here is not an impeachment of herr trump but a public impeachment of the republican party . And its guilty as charged ! Spineless cowards almost to a person. Those with even a modicum of integrety are ruthlessly attacked and threatened by the well organized trump mob. One can only ask what would have been the outcome on D Day if there were only republicans of this ilk storming the beaches of Normandy.
M (NY)
The Republican Party is useless. That’s the comment.
Dwild (Dwild)
The failure to convict effectively hands the orange imbecile a double victory: 1. he gets yet another get out of jail free card; 2. it confirms that the GOP is a wholly anti-democratic group of radical fascists and he is their "Dear Leader". I genuinely wonder how any decent person could continue to want to be associated with the Republican Party. To be fair, I have wondered that since 2000. But this is next level. What can one possibly see in these people and their hateful ideology? At least the pretence that they are trying to "conserve" something is gone. They are violent fascists with their country club members and their attending brown shirts. Those who stand at the margins (e.g. Romney) need to submit their divorce papers. Function as an independent - at least you might be able to sleep at night.
Spock (California)
“To reclaim the Republican Party from the MAGAverse”... Inventing a new word (“MAGAverse”) does not do the nation a favor. The correct word(s) should be “Fascist Party”, and should be spoken and written as such. Tiptoeing around this very dangerous problem by calling it another name is disingenuous, and contributes to the threat of repeating the occurrences of the 1920’s and ‘30’s.
Kathryn Josefow (Boise)
I can see the republican squirming from here. It's as if they have a coyote by the ears...can't hang onto it and can't let it go.
Chan Jit Loon (Malaysia)
Any ordinary person doing and saying what Trump did and encouraged about the capital hill assault would be inciting except that it would just be dismissed as a words of a looney. But coming from Trump, the most powerful man on earth, and, who as President, has vowed on the bible to uphold the American Constitution, and, democracy, it is very nearly America's equivalent of the Nazi's Night of the Long Knifes. What is worse is, except for a handful of courageous and righteous American Republicans like Mitt Romney, liz Cheney, Tom Rice, Kinzinger, Gonzalez, etc, the rest of the Republicans will be remembered for their historic collective cowardly and disgraceful appeasement in their failure to remove the seeds of fascism, and, balant lies on a national scale. Where have the American traditional, and, inspirational culture of courage, righteousness and wise leadership gone to ?
james (washington)
He's as guilty this time of telling people to be peaceful as he was last time of asking for an investigation of widely-reported (even by lefty news outlets) potential corruption.
Wesley Struebing (Dubuque, Iowa)
Well-done, NYT editorial staff! Seriously, a great summation. And for your troubles and the yeoman efforts of the House Impeachment Managers, the vote will probably be 55-45 to convict, FAR short of the 67 needed. Even McConnell has signaled that he'll vote to acquit. The lack of acocuntability that this vote will show also guts another part of the Constitution, the impeachment clause itself. After this Republican farce, it no longer has any meaning. They've turned it into a useless piece of writing. Way to go, "Constitutional" Republicans!
John Z. (Atlanta, GA)
How are the patriotic Americans in congress supposed to work with together with a gang of seditionists who've proven that justice, domestic tranquility, and the public welfare are just words to them, and that their idea of a perfect union closely resembles North Korea? Are these supposedly educated, treasonous lemmings even capable of independent thought anymore?
bruceo (nova scotia)
This 'trial' is so painful to watch. A mob boss being tried by a jury of which half are devout members of the Cosa Nostra. Why the Republican party wants to cling to him and his twisted ideology baffles me.
Tara (MI)
All true. But the Trump Senate is concocting a Partitioned future. No country with millions of Trumpers in it, all of whom fully understand Trump's deviancy, and identify with it, can stand inside the free and democratic world. No more than the Apartheid Republic of S. Africa could.
Robert (Out west)
Surely some of you have infinitely better Latin than my scraps and tags. What’s Latin for, “NOT THE TRUTH, BUT EXCUSES.” It needs to be in the escutcheon. Oh, and experts on heraldry...let me point you towards an armed fist, gules, above a roll of Charmin?
Ramnik (High Wycombe, U.K.)
If Republican Senators are cowards and scared of Trump & not vote for his guilt, it would considerably damage America's reputation and would soon start the process of elimination of the GOP. Can they afford that price & still support the greatest loser president in American history and reduce the USA to DSA(Divided States of America)
Rob Robinson (Clemmons, NC)
PLEASE - publish a full page of Senators WHO VOTED NO .... That Page will be published and re-printed at the next few election cycles over a million times ....
Bobcb (Montana)
The most powerful words to indict the former President are these words from Liz Cheney: “On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic." “Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. “I will vote to impeach the President.”----- Liz Cheney
SeñorWenceslaus (Chicago)
I think if you wiki "depraved indifference" the illustration would be Trump at around 3:20pm Jan 6th.
Kalidan (NY)
NYT editorial should not have to say this. There is something dramatically wrong in the very foundations of discourse in this country. We know a lot about what is wrong. White Americans, non-city, rural, working class, uneducated - for all good reasons want to lash out and hurt someone to feel better about themselves. NAFTA did hurt them. I understand that; I have been there. Hunger, misery, penury, dependence makes an ass of everyone; it makes life unbearable. Alcoholism, drug dependence, crime, disconnection, broken families, divorces, children out of wedlock and other acts of commission worsen it all. But the rioters were a mixed lot. I could have been at a church picnic. Women were nicely coiffed, made up, dainty almost. Guys were overweight and bearded, some in designer duds, used to throwing their weight around. Vets, cops, fire fighters (i.e., decidedly not losers). For every unemployed loser living in a basement, there were 100 people with warm homes, bank balances & ties to the community. Their anger is explanable, if not justifiable or worthy. America promised a lot to them for free; just for being born white. They were promised a great life, with blacks, browns, and non-Norwegian immigrants toiling away out of sight. Now, these very people are eating their lunch. It has broken their hearts. While no one owes them anything; and remedy is unlikely, they will attempt to burn down their neighbors' houses forever. We need to prepare for this and move on
Mixilplix (Delray Beach, Florida)
Jan 6th was our Jonestown for American democracy. Trump, the cult leader, has not drank the Kool Aid and will be criminally charged in the months to come. Let's hope Leavenworth is his new home.
Contrump (Texas)
The GOP found that Clinton’s Monica affair is impeachable but not Trump’s i) insurrection, ii) pushing mob to capitol iii) crimes he committed in office ( e.g., tax fraud, Ukraine call), iv) manipulation of election officials to change certification process...? . Their belief: Putin’s pal will Make America GOP Again in 2022. Church is used as a tool by the Trump’s MAGA party but not the conscience of church to select the moral path. Since Trump’s lies caught up with 74 million voters Trump’s lawyers adopted the same lies since they realized that senate hearing is not a judicial court but a political show. As the world and country are watching certification on Jan 06, Trump is not aware that Pence was taken by secret service? Remember that he is interested in crowd size and he must be seeing them on TV. The GOP cult now belongs to the new Duke : Trump. Will Melany Trump or GOP senators who may vote to acquit him tell their kids and grandkids that Mr. Trump is a role model for life? . If he can take Pence, Jeff sessions under the bus, Tuberville may be next. Mr. Trump is free to re-enact Jan 06 revolt in the future . Feb.13 is not the Friday the 13 th ! but Saturday 13th day massacre of US democracy if GOP acquits him.
jschimpf (NJ)
This impeachment is not a trial but a "low tech" lynching. It has been done to deflect attention from President Biden's senility and onslaught of executive orders and any real investigation of the improprieties of the election. While a pandemic rages and our children are kept out of school and certain state governors arbitrarily impose ill thought restrictions on businesses, restaurants and houses of worship, the Democrats seek "blood" in their irrational hatred of Trump. Every story has two sides and you cannot (but you do try) to invalidate the other side by claims of total fabrication. Lies, lies and more lies! The hyperbole of many of these comments is is unfounded, yet the zealots believe. Sound and fury signifying nothing (Faulkner via Shakespeare) as the learned elite like to lecture some of us.
samp426 (Sarasota)
The cowardice of the vast majority of the GOP is on full display for the entire world to process and ponder. Any Senator who votes to acquit has abdicated their responsibilities as a Senator, and as human beings. Color me unsurprised that these sycophants refuse to acknowledge reality. Shame!
Robert FL (Palmetto, FL.)
Today's Republican party is a mixture of sycophants and cowards, why expect them to stand up for the Constitution if it requires what they so obviously lack? Courage. Ethics.
Steve Snow (Cumming, Georgia)
Congressional Republican Statesmen in this Congress? In this era? With a membership that includes the likes of a Mc connell, Hawley, Cruz, Rubio, Cornyn? Don’t make me laugh! And of course I forgot that sickening toady from South Carolina .... people, eventually get exactly what they deserve...and those vassal fools brought us trump.
Mrs Dalloway (Philadelphia, PA)
It will happen again. I challenge someone to explain to me why the following is implausible: President Hawley loses his bid for a second term. Having laid the groundwork for voter fraud over his term, he whips his fanatical followers into a patriotic frenzy, fomenting a lie in the elections efficacy. The rioters storm the Capitol during the electoral vote and assassinate a high level official, likely VP Marjorie Taylor Greene. Hawley, whose planned this for four years, declares martial law. Authoritarianism secured.
jim emerson (Seattle)
Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville says that shortly after 2 pm on January 6, he told the One-Time President, "Mr. president, they've taken the vice president out. They want me to get off the phone, I gotta go." Those are his words, from his own mouth, as he repeated them again today. Given the disgraced former chief executive's propensity for using mafia crime family language lifted from "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos," perhaps he assumed Pence had indeed been "taken out" -- i.e., killed or otherwise neutralized by the lynch mob that was chanting, "Hang Mike Pence!). In that context, read what he tweeted shortly after Tuberville hung up on him: "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!" After Pence was "taken out," his boss ratted him out to the mob and said he got what he deserved for his lack of "courage." (Of course, "courage" was never the issue. The Constitution was. If Pence HAD refused to count the electors' votes, he would have been called out of order by the parliamentarian and the Senate leadership for asserting a power he manifestly did not have. So, we're evidently supposed to believe that the violent overthrow of the government was the only logical response.)
Philip (Sydney Australia)
Everything after the headline is unnecessary.
Richard Bradley (UK)
The GOP caused this. They should solve it. Impeach or be gone with you. You dont belong in America if you wont serve the truth. trump is as guilty as you could ever be.
JD (Elko)
Are we ever going to get a “ Have you no shame sir have you no shame “ moment? It was trump wanting to make America great again like in the fifties can we please help him out and throw him , his family and his minions into the trash can of history.
votingmachine (Salt Lake City)
The lie that Hillary Clinton was running a child-sex-slave ring in the basement of Comet Ping-Pong Pizza was told over and over. Eventually, Edgar Maddison Welch took his AR-15 and went and shot the place up. It turns out "Pizzagate" was just a lie. There isn't even a basement at Comet Ping-Pong Pizzaria. Those lies incited the violence from Edgar Welch. Trump has told the lie over and over that the election was stolen. And if he had not, there would not have been a violent attack on the Capital.
jwhelwig (Amsterdam)
When people in power choose power and high crimes over democracy and constitution, you might very well be looking at the birth of fascism. It is as simple as that. Just take a look at 20th century Europe.
MiguelM (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
The Dems dirty plan didn’t work. Leave the door open, faux outrage. Projection.
Joe (Saratoga, NY)
There is no line.
History Guy (Connecticut)
Please, please understand that the people who assaulted the Capitol truly believe, to the marrow of their bones, that Black and brown people are inferior, and should not be allowed to determine the future of the United States. Trump is their pilot whale, no pun intended, and they are not, and will not, give up their beliefs. We are headed toward disunion. That is the truth. And that's okay. I ask my fellow Connecticut "Nutmeggers." Do you really want anything to do with Mississippi? Or Alabama? Or Texas? We've been at odds with those states since the Civil War.
Miszczak (Canada)
Here is what I can't get my head turned around on as far as the acqusation of , guilty of inciting. That means he's, trump , is caniving to all end . That he, is such a mastermind to have the know all that his words and deeds have thus caused thee most grotesque terrorist attack on your cathedral of justice. Ever. And if that's the question . My answer sadly would be NO Because he just isn't that smart to conjour up such a diabolical plan . There's just no possible way. I hate to admit it but there is no way this buffoon is that intelligent. Find something else to incarcerate him. The list should be endless and you ( Democrats/ Democracy ) will loose this battle but please don't loose the war . PS Get well soon America We miss you
Oscar (Brookline)
These senators are not putting the interests of a single man ahead over the interests of our nation and the common good. They are making a political calculation that siding with the dictator wannabe will serve their own blind ambitions to ascend to the throne he failed to seize for himself. This isn't just about choosing to represent the tribal interests of the few over the common good. It's about choosing to represent what they perceive to be in their own self interests. Even more reprehensible. And to what end? These poseurs who hurl the term "elite" at others as an insult were all educated at the most elite institutions in this country, yet they're too dim to appreciate that when the mob takes over -- and it will, because there's no putting this frankenstinian monster back in the lab -- they will have killed the goose that laid the golden egg. This country is well on its way to becoming a banana republic. Who will invest in a country hurtling backward toward third world status? Who will stay? Those unable to leave. And members of the mob. Not exactly the ingredients for continued success and leadership. And if these detestable, self-absorbed brats don't act now to hold him accountable, they will richly deserve having him and his grifter family and his unhinged cult hanging around their necks and clawing at their throats until he does to them what he did to Mike Pence: use them, then throw then to his angry mob.
Chester (West Town)
No one cares. Stop talking about Trump and start covering the Biden administration.
Bret (MI)
To any unbiased person, it is blatantly obvious that Trump is guilty of inciting a riot. From the time on 11/3 that he began his tweeting about a stolen election, he was fomenting his base. This continued for 2 months. Then he scheduled his "rally" on 1/6 and tweeted "It will be wild." By this point, his base was completely incensed and ready to do whatever it took to stop the election. Trump knew full well that his feeble remarks about being peaceful would not be heard by his supporters. I just read about how McCarthy and Trump had a screaming match during the riot because Trump refused to call off the rioters. I'm not sure if that got into the official record of the trial or not, but that is damning evidence. But in the end it does not matter. There will not be 17 GOP Senators with the required spine and morality to vote to convict. My question is this.....Can Trump be tried criminally by outside of the realms of politics?
Brian Perkins (Miami Beach, Fl)
If the impeachment vote was conducted anonymously, is there any doubt Trump would be convicted? The moral cowardice of Senate Republicans is a disgrace and damages the nation.
Thick Brick (Glen Cove, NY)
These Senators are voting to make themselves subservient to Donald J. Trump. A man who may be declaring bankruptcy in the next year, who will sued to sexual assault, and a man who can’t hire a decent defense team. To this incompetent buffoon, they will pledge their undying allegiance to.
Deborah (Denver)
Didn't anyone listen to Congressman Adam Schiff two years ago? IT DID HAPPEN AGAIN. And these people are STILL COWARDS.
SLB (vt)
The irony---bestowing a well-deserved medal for bravery, in front of the most lily-livered group of Republican Senators to pollute our Capitol for, oh, a century or two. Pathetic.
Matt K (Sacramento)
Name the crime, ANY crime, Trump is innocent. Treason, sedition, insurrection, innocent, innocent, innocent. It really doesn’t matter. Impeachment used to mean something, now it’s been made as worthless as week-old leftovers in the fridge. Hopefully the Republican Party will go the way of the Whig party or the Bull Moose party. Irrelevant, but mostly gutless, dishonest, and malignant.
Martyl (Ireland)
THe GOP in failing to convict Trump reinforces the cult of ignorance and stupidity that seems to pervade large swathes of American life with its convergence of anti intellectualism and false notions of deprived freedom all of which diminishes the US and its own perception of exceptionalism to one of ridicule.
Valerie Elverton Dixon (East St Louis, Illinois)
Trump is guilty, and the some Republicans showed how low they will go to find a reason to vote to exonerate Trump. Rubio asked a stupid question about impeaching Hillary Clinton. Trump was impeached while he was still president. Trump's defense teams wanted to make a false equivalence between Trump and Kamala Harris in the wake of violence connected to Black Lives Matter protests. The obvious difference: rioters in the Capitol said explicitly, while the riot was happening, that they were there at Trump's invitation. No one has said Harris invited them to do what they were doing. If Republicans do not hold Trump accountable, it will be more evidence that they are a gang of craven political hacks.
ASHRAF CHOWDHURY (NEW YORK)
Trump is guilty guilty guilty beyond reasonable doubt . Any senator votes against guilty verdict is a Big Liar and loyalty to the American constitution is questionable . A liar who can not keep oath is not a good Christian or patriot American.
DB (Vancouver. WA)
Guilt means nothing to Trump nor to his fellow Republican seditionists. They are cynical, lying, manipulative and rabid for power. They deny the very words spoken by Trump to incite a riot. They provide shameful cover for the attempt to subvert our democracy. They have no shame and only pay lip service in support of our democracy. What a sad, twisted, smoldering, wreck of a party.
Serge (Brooklyn, NY)
I'm wondering if there will finally be a look at the link between Trump's subversive activities and V.Putin, as detailed in Craig Unger's book "American Kompromat": How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump?
Chuck4 (Minnesota)
Truth means nothing to the republican party. All they care about is appeasing the gullible fools who support Trump. I'm trying not to feel like this is the end of America. How can one man, one incredibly selfish, dishonest, despicable man cause all this.
James Devlin (Montana)
The Republicans intend to make impeachment forever worthless in order to appease the base of a wannabe dictator. That base, without thought, dogmatically believes in all manner of absurd conspiracies. That thuggish base is devoid of intelligent thought and reality and yet current Republicans are willing to use them to further their own self-serving agendas. Didn't it used to be considered cruel to manipulate the sick, the gullible, and the mentally impaired? Do Republicans not understand the end result of this? Have they not read a single page of history? Do they seriously believe that they will survive the inevitable misery and retributions that will occur if this insanity continues to pervade and erode American society? Is it war that they really want? For that is the result of this pathetic appeasement.
Carl Birman (Albany, NY)
In the immortal words of Garry Trudeau, Trump is "guilty, guilty, guilty!"
Jackson (Virginia)
Please - we all know you decided he was guilty before anything was presented.
Laying Low (Southwest)
Somebody decided it would be good television and good propaganda to let the riot go into the building. We used to send 5x-10x as many people after Nixon. The police turned us back, no problemo. Two days before the march Washington DC’s mayor appeared on CNN. “We know they’re coming. We’re ready.” Somebody changed her mind.
Matt Peyton (NYC)
Here's the thing. All Republicans are despicable. See that's the thing. They've been despicable all our lives. From Nixon… Through the John Birch society and Reaganomics… From George W. Bush's pointless and unwarranted war in Iraq, to the great recession… These guys don't work for us.. They work for the .001 percent, and corporations. The hypnotized sheep who bleat out their talking points, or worse, their most pitiful victims.... All despicable.
Is_the_audit_over_yet (MD)
A vote of acquittal is a vote FOR insurrection, sedition and incitement of deadly violence. Plain. And. Simple.
BabsWC (West Chester, PA)
just amazes me how the dots connected, and yet the DONNIE DENIERS turn a blind eye. These dupes don't belong in our leading lawmaking bodies. I hope they all go down in '22 or whenever term is up. The "bold" are the ones who decided to "retire" or "spend more time with family". How do they look in the mirror every day?? DJT has done a hit job on the Senate, bigly!
dj (vista)
Cowards for the Don only pretend this is a real trial. The votes were ordained by the Mule four years ago.
K (India)
American democracy is dead, thanks to Trump and Republicans. Now any President can do what they please in office. Expect a dictatorship soon.
Karl (Charleston SC)
"can happen again"?? It WILL happen again! And please, stop referring to them as MAGA supporters, they are a mob. The coward Senators are allowing the USA to be controlled by mob-rule.
Geoff (New York)
This Opinion gives me goosebumps. The Times’s utter lack of acknowledging any merit in the Trump team’s defense is troubling. This is such a biased piece, entirely void of intellectual honesty. How dare the editorial board blanketly cast the defense as “slipshod, meandering, at times incomprehensible.” The defense team cited and analyzed the constitution, Supreme Court precedent, Trump’s speech and actions, and similar speech and actions by other politicians, and did so in a very compelling way. Please, take a stance, New York Times, but at least treat your readers like they have intelligence and offer a fair and objective analysis.
Teddy (St Maarten)
When I read something that makes an impression I save it. (Thank you NY Times) These seem to reflect my feelings at this difficult, almost unbelievable time time. “What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.” "He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truth without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions." — Thomas Jefferson “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” — Mark 8:36. "For evil to succeed, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke
Ted Olson (Portland, Oregon)
...all while Senator Graham packs his golf shirt as he prepares to travel to Mar-a-Lago. Congress in and of itself has become a useless, broken enterprise, but these guys are shameless. The lesson? Always put party ahead of country, cater to the mob, and ignore any oaths you may have taken. Caught red-handed? Hire an expensive attorney to lie for you.
Aussie Battler (Canberra)
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke
Lemuel Stein (Massapequa NY)
As distraction from all consuming “News Impeachment” I read writer Farhad Majoo’s article, Aliens Must Be Out There. It didn’t work. Halfway through pondering the likelihood of extraterrestrial life I started thinking about Representative Greene’s absurd claim that rich Jews are using lasers in space to set California on fire. The problem this country faces is not morally bankrupt leadership. It is a population that cannot - or will not - separate fact from fiction, does not belief in science, believes that only theirs is the “true” religion, will follow anyone they perceive as waving the flag harder as being a better leader and believe that extraterrestrials are little green men (when in all likely hood they are brilliant women). Until our voting counterparts realize that their well being requires a little more thoughtfulness in choosing who will represent them, we will have leaders who fail us!
Leslie (Atlanta)
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay?" Tomorrow: “ I could send a mob to ransack the Capitol,beat up on the legislature and that traitor Mike Pence, in an attempt to overturn the election, even if lives are lost and the majority of the GOP senators will not vote to convict me, even those senators who had to run and hide from my supporters”
Cynthia Collins (New Hampshire)
guilt or innocence seem increasing irrelevant in this benighted land
Michael Richter (Ridgefield, CT)
Perhaps America is not so great afterall.
Prometheus (Caucasus Mountains)
Trump could do a Colonel Jessep: "I ordered the code red" and it would not make a difference. We now move into Phase II of this tragedy: Retrumplican insurgency begins. The Oath Keepers, Klan, Proud Boys etc....,the list is significant, will be their paramilitary arm...their ISIS, Hezbollah. The FBI declares these US white supremcy organizations the most armed and well trained terror organizations in the world. We had a good run, but then the country caught the Fat Donnie virus, DJT16, and it all came to an end as all good things eventually do. Dems need to put on their big boy pants. There are similarities and differences between the current US and the 1920's Germany. Unfortunately the similarities are bigger than the differences. This is not the time for optimism. Cold, hard, calculating pessimism is required. For example: Do you think Ike said 3 divisions in Normandy is enough? No he said we'll need Six divisions to land on the first day; three U.S., two British and one Canadian. Two more British and one U.S. division were to follow up after the assault division had cleared the way through the beach defenses. Get real my Liberal comrades.....optimism will only land you into an Oath Keepers' labor camp....These groups need to be brought low now before they can gain strength
Anthony Spors (55303)
If Donald Trump is found "not guilty", it would be the worst miscarriage of justice since the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
SomeGuy (Ohio)
"The sleep of reason produces monsters". As true today as it was in 1799. Goya is timeless. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/arts/design/goya-met-museum.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Art%20%20Design
SteveRR (CA)
Sigh.... answering unasked questions is usually the provenance of first-year Philo undergrads. Trump was not "tried" for "trying to overturn the results of the election" And guilty is a relative term - the results of the vote will determine it in the case of an impeachment. And guess what - the Trumpmeister will be found "not-guilty" shortly - by definition. Sigh... part deux... I wish it were not so - but wishing and editorial boards usually don't go together.
Joe Arena (Woodcliff Lake, NJ)
Republicans have made denial an art: "Trump didn't do it. It's fake news." "Okay, maybe he did it but there's nothing wrong with it." "Even if he did it, it's really not a big deal" "He only did it because he's fighting for fairness and for America." "If Democrats hadn't done (insert deflection here), Trump wouldn't have done this." "What about Hillary, Obama, BLM, Kamala Harris, Maxine Waters, (or insert other deflection here)?"
Michael Gast (Wheeling, WV)
You do realize, of course, that the GOP and nearly half of America (I live in WV and see it firsthand) are hungering for an authoritarian who will wipe out all progressive accomplishments and drive this country back to the white-male dominated Stone Age? They want segregation, intolerance and the world just as it was when the so-called “Greatest Generation” finished the work of WWII and returned home to their apartheid paradise, designed for the Chosen—white males and their silent, but obedient, white females. We are watching a sociological phenomenon in progress: a reactionary revolution to dismantle a society’s incomplete efforts to create a more egalitarian culture. Trump’s followers don’t need him anymore. Their hatred has taken on a life if its own. Any demagogue will do. And, if not Trump, one will appear to take his place. One probably even less constrained. Trump’s imminent acquittal will be the day America died.
Nomi Silverman (CT)
If Trump wasn’t responsible then why did the senators-Republicans too!-call him and tell him to call off his dogs. They know it and we know it.
Gery Katona (San Diego)
Trump owns the voters who in-turn vote for the Senators to keep their jobs which is their #1 priority. Guilt, which is obvious, does not count in this case.
USAF SERE (Washington)
Of course he is guilty, he was guilty last time too. The problem is the founders made it too difficult to hold Presidents accountable. Also they they seemed to factor morality into the equation which Republicans have none of these days. We might as well get rid of impeachment, the R's will never convict Trump. They want the white racist vote.
Richard Donahue (Boston)
One can only hope for the best. However, if the worst really does happen, Those senators who voted against conviction should be revealed at every step of their professional lives. The picture of their face the action they did not take should accompany every photograph. They need to be forever known for their treasonous act in not stopping Trump. Their defeat in their next election should be where opposition should be focused. This may be the saddest day in American Constitutional History.
N Merton (WA)
And in breaking news, Andrew Cuomo seen celebrating in Albany as the Senate votes to drag out the trial and help keep his name out of the papers!
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza did the opposite of all of his insticts? That is the Republican Party of today. On a more serious note, George Orwell was prescient when he wrote "1984." He was just 32 years too early. 1. People who attempted to violently overthrow the government of the United States called themselves "patriots" - backed up by the former president who said they were "very special." 2. The self-proclaimed party of "Law and Order" is endorsing a violent insurrection to overthrow the government of the United States of America. The Republican in Congress are representing and defending our very "enemies, foreign and domestic." 3. The "Oath Keepers" (many of whom are ex-military or ex-police) are violating their oath. "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same" --- I could go on and on and on. But you get the point. These people are living an in an Orwellian world of alternative facts, and are actively supporting sedition and treason, on George Costanza's "opposite day" - which is Groundhog Day for them (every single morning, the same thing). God help us all.
J Darby (NH)
The Senate is really deciding: (a) whether the President can incite a violent attack on our nation and government without violating his oath; and (b) whether a President violates his oath and duty as Commander in Chief when he refuses to stop a violent attack on our government and capitol. The answers are clear. So, is the fact that Senate Republicans are colluding with Trump. Letting Trump's treasonous behavior stand on mere technicalities is for cowards. Trump is guilty, he must be convicted, and no one should ever be allowed to incite a violent coup attempt against our government, and definitely not the President. Senate Republicans are selfish cowards who only care about holding their seats and all the trappings. Trump amassed a crazy army and Republicans need to stand up to them now or we all will likely see them violent again in the future. Stop Trump's attack on our democracy.
R (CA)
Hats off to Ms. Herrera Beutler for having the courage to stand up and issue her statement Friday night regarding the existence of eyewitnesses who know how Donald Trump responded when a seditious mob broke into the Capital building on January 6th and interrupted a joint session of Congress. As reported by Emily Cochrane in the NYT today, “.... Ms. Herrera Beutler said Mr. McCarthy told her that Mr. Trump had said the rioters storming the Capitol were “more upset about the election than you are.” She [Ms. Herrera] pleaded with those who were at the White House with him that day, or former Vice President Mike Pence, to come forward and share eyewitness accounts and details about what they saw. “To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: If you have something to add here, now would be the time,” Ms. Herrera Beutler said in a statement.”
Jim Remington (Eugene)
If the Senate votes to acquit, the Trump and the GOP will have demonstrated to the entire world that America has no defense at all against a thug who, by hook or crook, manages to be elected President, and that the Constitution of the United States of America is not worth the paper it is printed on.
Andrew (Beaverton, OR)
Suspend the trial. Call Tuberville and McCarthy and make then testify under oath.
Joe (Atlanta)
God help us! What are we going to do with Trump version 2 with Ted Cruz, version 3 with Josh Hawley? And then whoever comes next. I am just completely astounded that I ever once considered myself conservative, and dare say Republican.... These spineless senators are shameful, and I certainly hope their bargaining with the Devil does not works. God bless America.... we really need it.
Bob Woods (Salem, OR)
Don't fool yourself. When the Republican mobs called for a second Civil War, they meant it. They have their mob thugs, no different from every other autocrat wanna-be. There's no time left to dawdle. The nation is at stake.
Bob Jones (Lafayette, CA)
Of course he’s guilty. But far more guilty is the GOPQ bloc.
Prometheus (Caucasus Mountains)
This country is done for..... Save comment The Retrumplicans are a growing force with a cause, power via violence Meanwhile Dems are working hard on important things like removing Lincoln’s name from schools. These are the things that happen when the Devil and Folly do their dance
Alison (Ontario, Canada)
Please, for the sake of democracy everywhere on the planet, CONVICT.
HL (Falls Church, Virginia)
“A failed coup without consequences ...... is a training exercise.”
Deb (CT)
It is time for state Attorneys General to do their job, because the Republican Senate has shown us that for the most part they are just a group of power hungry greed mongers and cowards of the highest order. They have sold their souls to the devil and need to pay the price. They need to be removed from office and let people of good conscience govern. trump needs to be locked up. For the good of our Nation, he must not get away with his crimes.
jwillmann (Tucson, AZ)
The Editorial Board of the New York Times writes: "Many G.O.P. senators...couldn’t be bothered to watch the House managers’ presentation. They doodled or played on their phones or simply averted their eyes as the horror unfolded." Who? Please publish the names of these senators.
Darren (Santa Cruz)
Republicans couldn’t care less about doing what is right or just for the country. They have put party and lies over truth and country every time. Only traitors support Republicans.
Exile In (Bible Belt)
Nothing that is said or shown at this "trial" will convince corrupt so-called Republicans to convict their leader. As he said over 4 years ago- he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it! They are brainwashed and think this will prop up their crumbling careers.
NorthXNW (West Coast)
As much as I recognize the failure of the New York Times to recognize the sound judgement of individuals, in recent memory for example the firing of an editor who decided there was editorial value in allowing an American Senator to voice a personal opinion, the Times has it right this time. The problem, however, with this opinion is the Times has become a weather vane that blow with the wind and as such those readers who look for impartiality will not find it.
Patrick Fry (Australia)
What do you think he was doing whilst the riot was occurring? Waiting to declare martial law? Seize being Potus for life? Want a re -run? Good luck America. I think you guys are going to need it..
srwdm (Boston)
And then retreated to the safety of the White House to enjoy the show— Trump's cowardice pervades his life. Cowardice and narcissism.
Non-Blind Person (Minneapolis, MN)
I have to wonder if this article writer saw all the evidence presented today of the fake media that was put out over the last four years. The "fine people" hoax alone was laughable enough...
Bob Guthrie (Australia)
So little time and so many things to impeach him about. Could you squeeze in another one or two just to keep Lindsey, Ted and Josh occupied? Lets see; just off the top of my head: 11 proven cases of obstruction in .the Mueller Report. Promising a tax cut for the middle class before the mid terms which he had no intention of delivering. Selling out America at Helsinki The Georgia election meddling- oh wait that is under the control of Fani Willis. Go Fani! If you can cope with the death threats that you are getting from MAGA supporters. What about all those super spreader rallies? The Liberate Michigan support of armed thugs invading government buildings How about the criminal negligence inherent in his pandemic ineptitude. That was just off the top of my head. How long did it take Tolstoy to write War and Peace?
Abby (Tucson)
RICO a the whole darned lot. Wouldn’t that be rich? Giuliani finally taken out by the same law he was first to apply to those “other” wise guys back in the ‘80s. I still think he and Bonanno colluded to bring down the entire NYC Mafia Commision because they had kicked Bonanno out of the Concrete Club. Bonanno wrote a book. Giuliani used it to make his RICO case. The GOP better pray Trump hasn’t got anything on them before they vote against him. I’d stay away from work that day and let the Dems take him out, myself, but I see the way their cookie is crumbling and they are going to get a good dunking, Handsome Johnny style, if they think they can still manage this madman. Trump’s more a Carmine Gilante than a Vincent Gigante. Carmine destroyed the Bonanno family by pushing poison. Vincent just played dumb. Trump prefers to take everyone down with him.
John (Virginia)
This is a political impeachment, not a criminal trial. Too many want this to be something that it simply is not. Democrats want this to be a public equivalent to a criminal prosecution. Republicans Trumpists want this to be vindication. Other Republicans just want Trump to go away without upsetting Trumpists. The reality though is that this is all political theater and it’s main objective is to provide Democratic voters with the semblance of a public trial. I suspect though that this isn’t going to make any voters, regardless of party, feel as though justice has been done or change in minds. This impeachment is no substitute for a criminal trial.
Abby (Tucson)
@John We’ll see now that McCarthy has to tell us whyTrump didn’t recall his army.
Cate (New Mexico)
As I write (Saturday, 2/13/21), the Senate is in break deliberating as to whether or not evidence and testimony may be presented to the body for consideration on the verdict in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The defense appears to be completely caught off-guard--almost beside itself with rage (and not too professional)--and called to order by the Senate president pro tempore. Personally I'm glad to see that the Democrat-led prosecution has retaken control of the proceedings and called to testify and hear evidence given by one who seemingly has knowledge of Trump's alleged responsibility for incitement of insurrection at the Capitol. Trump's refusal to call off the insurrectionists is a direct link to his not only being in charge of the rioters, but also shows his implicit role as the "commander in chief" of the insurrection itself--that is, the instigator. This show of force at this time by the prosecution against a flimsy defense counsel gives strength to final taking control of the trial, underscoring just how vital it is that we take very seriously the events and repercussions of January 6th, and the role played by former president Trump.
Steve Hendren (Kansas)
So if not conviction for impeachment, how do Republican senators plan to hold the former president accountable? Many, including McConnell have stated there are other avenues to pursue. So let’s hear about those ‘other avenues’. Rather than stonewalling conviction, advocate a reasonable alternative that makes it clear that the former president committed treason and enforce consequences. I’m not holding my breath.
Ruth Huber (San Jose, CA)
Is anyone organizing a boycott of Republican donors? Specifically donors to Senators voting against conviction. It could be one way of offsetting the political power of the Trumpian base.
G. Sears (Johnson City, Tenn.)
“But there is no more urgent task than recentering the nation’s political life as peaceful and committed to the rule of law.” But how? This is the question and the challenge that seems never to be credibly answered. Biden would save the soul of America, but just how that will happen remains an open and perplexing and seemingly unlikely outcome. Trump was and is an excellerent for our enmity and division, but he was and is not the primary agency for grave political dysfunction that has festered for decades without any remedy.
S Butler (New Mexico)
So, we're going to have witnesses at the impeachment trial. The House impeachment managers wanted one witness. Trump's lawyers bluffed that they would want three hundred witnesses. That bluff got called. Republicans had better be careful what they wish for. These (including Republican) witnesses would likely sway public opinion radically more in favor of convicting Trump. Republican senators will vote their own best interests and not Trump's. Trump hasn't escaped conviction yet.
Steph (Oakland)
This is also a referendum on the people who voted for the republican senators. The senate were elected to reflect the will of the people who elected them. That to me is the rub. This tragedy is not just the senate’s problem. It reflects on the scarily delusional state of mind of the American people as a whole.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
The Republicans apparently think the United States of America is one big joke. - They elected a reality-TV star as their president. - They spout conspiracy theories as entertainment on Fox News and talk radio, to drive up ratings. It's all fun and games, until someone loses an eye. Or their life. (Which happened five times on January 6.)
nzierler (New Hartford NY)
If there was ever any doubt that the impeachment trial is a political, not a criminal procedure, it was erased by "jurors" Cruz, Graham, and Lee huddling with Trump's defense counsel. There is no hope to reach a just verdict here. A criminal trial is clearly warranted.
Andrew (Philadelphia)
Trump is guilty but will be "exonerated" by Senate Republicans. Senate Republicans will then be guilty, too. Will Trump or GOP members be held accountable and punished? Unlikely, unless New York State and/or GA prevail against Trump, and voters, disgusted by what they've seen leave, the Republican party in droves. I have to believe that some percentage of Republican voters want the party to denounce and move away from Trump, but since that has, and will not, happen... Fingers crossed!
Robert Rosenthal (Boston)
The GOP Senators who will vote to acquit Trump are looking short-term to the next election. They should be looking long term. This vote will doom their party, because the demographics and the politics of our nation are changing and will continue to change. History will judge their vote to acquit as cowardly, and generations will learn that they put immediate political expediency over their duty to our nation. Trump, his supporters in the House and Senate, and those who stormed the Capitol are the Benedict Arnolds of our generation.
Myasara (Brooklyn)
Trump is in deep legal and financial trouble. This allows Republican Senators to avoid having to go on record to convict, thereby mollifying that hallowed base. (It's also shameless and spineless, but that's the behavior of the last four years or so.) We should not be expecting anything different. Let others try him. There is enough evidence of wrong-doing on the part of Trump and the Trump organization that I suspect the Senators think they can acquit AND get rid of him. It's win-win for them.
KLKEMP (Matthews)
I’ve watched most of the testimony and after watching yesterday’s I felt total disgust. I felt like trumps lawyers were mocking the 80 million voters who voted for Biden even as they cried that the Senate was trying to throw out 74 million votes. I was most annoyed at the thought that they think not much of America has any sort of intelligence, that we would buy into the “fight” videos. And all I can think of is that the world is watching, watching the trump government and its enablers make a mockery of democracy.
Alison (Ontario, Canada)
He's guilty but given that almost half the population voted for him, how likely is he to be held accountable when it's not likely to happen in this impeachment trial and a criminal trial requires a unanimous verdict by a jury? Persuading some of the 70 million who voted for him to vote for Democrats is likely the only strategy to disempower Trump with legs. Steacy Abrams encourages this hard work, saying, "even if it takes 10 years"...
Got Your Back (Green, Yellow and Black)
And here we are. “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” George Orwell, 1984
SteveH (Zionsville PA)
So 44 Senators are supporting a known Russian agent in his attempt to overthrow our Government? What are WE going to do about it, besides whining to the NYT? Personally, I vote for a bitter, angry divorce. These cultists are not Americans, and they do not deserve to be a part of this country. Let them emulate the Brexit losers, let them and their rugged individualism flourish in their own country. Let them set up their own military, with their ideas of trade and immigration. Let them try to navigate the world with their no income tax states and lack of regulation. Let's see how they attract companies, people, and investment capital. Let's watch where the people choose to live, let's examine the reasons why. I'm tired of writing comments, I'm ready to pick a side and move on from this experiment.
Mossflower (Sweden, Me)
I'm still flabbergasted that anyone could believe that the Republicans who state that Trump can't be impeached, tried and convicted because he's no longer in office are doing it for any other reasons than to cover their backsides. These men and women have actually read the constitution, they've been briefed on the history, they know better. No opinion from the Supreme Court or from any god on high brought down on a tablet could make them vote for conviction when they have sold their souls to Trumpmania. The Democratic house managers gave them every opening in their case to come on board the train of truth, but they ignored, closed their eyes and ears, even as they were the intended victims of the attack, and police officers were killed and injured. So much for supporting the men and women in blue. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Lindsay Graham, you think you are hiding behind the Trump mob, but beware, the tables will turn and they will come for you. Republicans have not won a popular presidential vote in many years, can't win in many jurisdictions without rigging the election to exclude voters or gerrymander the districts. Your party is dying and siding with criminals and insurrectionists will not help you win the country back. Wake up.
Margaret (Toronto)
Is “sociopath” too hard to understand? What about “monster”. This vote shouldn’t be hard.
Jobi (NJ)
GUILTY! Have a spine Republicans! But you don't have one so...
Joseph Amato Feb. 13, 2021 (NYC)
A guilty verdict is the Trumpian Tribal Party as the grear solution to the American dream for His MAGA.
Cinda Becker (Bronx, NY)
Remember the names of each and every representative who emboldened this lying demagogue who trashed our democracy. They are awarding him impunity with impunity. This vicious cycle is what we must undermine. I personally vow never to vote for a candidate who offered even one lame excuse for such despicable behavior and will boycott any company that donates even one cent to the shameless politicians who have risked everything for their pathetic and worthless careers.
The Littlest Who (Whoville)
With voting to acquit Trump of impeachment, Senators will be confirming, upholding, and celebrating a repellant and abhorrent nation. The echoes of the cries from the dark under belly of our nation has often been present. But with their vote to acquit, senators will be showing that the dark under belly is who we are. A nation in celebration of white male supremacy and mob violence.
Marty Smith (New York)
McConnell says he will vote to acquit. He is as vile as T. The country has reversed its traditional values and is not the country I want to live in.
MLP (Cape Cod)
Where were the Democrats when leftist groups accosted Susan Collins after she voted in support of Brett Kavanaugh’s supreme court nomination? Where were they also when the leftist protesters attacked Lindsey Graham‘s home and smashed his windows? The Democrats were silent when the radical protesters surrounded Rand Paul and his wife last August upon leaving the Republican national convention at the White House. Thank goodness the police saved the Paul’s from harm. The Democrats said nothing about the riots that occurred this summer in Democrat run cities where buildings were burned to the ground and stores looted. Where were they while all this was going on? It was on the news night after night and yet they were mum. This is the height of hypocrisy. The Republicans immediately condemned the violence at the Capitol and are still saying how horrendous it was. President Trump also condemned it and he never told the people to go over to the Capitol and riot. He did mention that they should walk over to the Capitol and protest peacefully and patriotically. That is very different from what he is being accused of. These people who committed these horrible acts planned this well in advance and are the worst members of our society. They should all be rounded up and arrested. They are the guilty ones. It is not President Trump who should be charged with any crimes and the Republicans will find him innocent. The Democrats are doing this out of spite.
John Zotto (Ischia)
Accountable of what ? Being a person of poor character, a liar, corrupt and a rabble rouser. Just because you do not like him does not mean you have the right to impeach him and find him guilty. Let the American people decide whether he is worthy of the office, or do you not trust Americans to make the right choice and only you can decide what is right or wrong ?
Alan Frank (Kingston, PA)
Question: If this isn't an impeachable offense, then what is? Answer: Having sex with an intern and lying about it. Any other questions?
Johnny Woodfin (Conroe, Texas)
Lying for months about an election being stolen - when it clearly, obviously, and certainly wasn't - from a lofty position of respect, power, and authority. That, at best, is Pied Piper leadership that only rats or naive fools would follow. Worse, it's a madman leading others - eventually everyone - to their doom... Unless he's stopped. Duh?
Ira M. Pesserilo (Syracuse NY)
This circus is fortunately folding its tents tomorrow. It is a disgrace that Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and company put on this farce. And the Democrats will soon learn, that when you unleash the dogs of hate, they will always turn on you.
gbombardier13 (Canada)
A weak political party in a weak country. Trump must be locked up! Feed him Confinement Loaf for the rest of his unholy days! Lock up those so-called Patriots but do like the Chinese and send them to re-education facilities somewhere in the Nevada desert.
Pathfox (Kansas)
Republican senators and representatives are digging their own political graves. They will be reflected in the "distant mirror" of history as craven, cowardly, selfish traitors to the democratic republic they took an oath to protect and preserve. Graham and McConnell are especially despicable because they know better.
Eva O’Mara (Cleveland)
My question after all this is why does it mean so much to these spineless, old, white, by en large male Senators? What will they get in return for voting for acquittal down the pike? I just don’t understand. Trump won’t got to jail. Nothing will happen to him except that we will be spared from ever having to deal with him again. He will be stripped of his toxic, ignorant power. So WHY ?
Is_the_audit_over_yet (MD)
On a weekend when the 3 most common words will be “l love you “ the next most popular must be: Trump is guilty!
Sarah M. (Boston)
Ya think?
Marc (Portland, OR)
Democrats: It rained so the streets got wet. Republicans: Whereas it is true that the streets got wet I am not ready to conclude that it is because of the rain. Mitch: It's a really close call, but the evidence is not conclusive.
FrankM (SoCal)
The feces that Trump's supporters spread on the Capitol's walls is indicative to me of Trump's contribution to our body politic. Just as bad is the reaction of Republican senators: Cruz, Hawley and others want to paint it gold and call it great, others shrug their shoulders and indignantly insist that it doesn't stink and the rest simply look away. With that kind of reaction, where do we go from here?
Stranger (Earth)
Reclaiming the Republican Party from the Magaverse is a pipedream. At this point the GOP has fully succumbed to Trump and the MAGA crowd. The only hope is for enough republicans to abandon the party to convince Romney, Sasse, Collins, Murkowski and the few others who have resisted Trump's siren song that it's time to abandon ship and start working toward the formation of a new center right party. Granted, it means that they will likely not win any elections in the near term, but they will be serving the best interest of the country.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
Now that there has been a vote to call witnesses, I would suggest that the House Managers propose the following three witnesses, in the order indicated: 1. Jaime Herrera Buetler 2. Kevin McCarthy 3. Donald Trump Buetler is able to confirm that the McCarthy-Trump call took place, because that is what McCarthy told her, and that information is not hearsay. She heard him tell her he had a phone call with Trump. FACT. That can be proven by checking phone call records. After she describes what she was told by McCarthy about the call taking place, the issue is what McCarthy and Trump recall of the call. What he told her about the phone call is his recollection, and he should be called to describe that in his own words. That is why McCarthy and Trump should each be called to describe the phone call.
RW (West Windsor, NJ)
While Trump IS guilty, he will not be held accountable in the narrow sense that there will not be close to the 2/3 vote in the Senate to convict. However, who will be held accountable will be the overwhelming majority of Republican senators who vote to acquit. History will hold them accountable. The great unknown is whether today's American citizens will hold them accountable.
Ray Manus (York PA)
The games people play. The outcome was obvious. With just seconds left to play, the score was 85 million to 75 million and no time outs remaining. Rather than take a knee and let the clock run out, players rushed to score another touchdown, but fumbled the ball and the clock ran out. The victors waited for fresh replacements and insisted on kicking an extra point after the opposing team left the field. The referees did not see any un-sportsman-like conduct. In a nation of 330 million people, 218 elected partisans can claim to be a majority and change the rules at their pleasure. The public simply waits for career politicians to pass legislation empowering entrenched bureaucrats before learning what they will be allowed do and how they must comply. Resistance is futile. “Politics is the art of taking money from a few and votes of the many on the pretext of protecting one from the other.” (M.S. Quay) “Politics is a business” (G.W. Plunket) -reformers don’t have a chance.
CC (San Francisco)
I wish I felt encouraged by this tour de force. I don't, because this very paper also published an article that demonstrates when it comes to Trump, what is broadcasted to half the country is a different reality: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/business/media/cable-news-impeachment-trial.html Tell me what will change *that*, and I might start hoping again.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
Dear Republicans, Our nation has a government "of the people, by the people, for the people." (Lincoln) If you don't agree with the government, then you can change it. Through the peaceful process of elections and representative government. Your party has apparently given up on that. Because the majority of Americans are not buying what you are selling. So you are resorting to violent insurrection, in order to overthrow the government of the United States of America. You are now the opposite of the Party of Lincoln. You are the modern-day Confederacy. As David Frum said (paraphrasing): - If Republicans become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon their views. They will reject democracy. --- I'll give you a hint. Adopt policies that the majority of Americans agree with. And perhaps you can win elections again, the old fashioned way. By earning the votes of the American people.
Entre (Rios)
@MidtownATL David Iraq War Frum knows his stuff.
Ski bum (Colorado)
"A vote for impunity is an act of complicity." Everyone; everyone knows that trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection. He spoke to this throughout his term, during the debates and at great length after he lost the election. He is a man who cannot accept defeat; looks like he never learned to lose with grace. We can blame his father for this oversight. But nonetheless, he is 74 years old and should have learned by now to lose gracefully, but he can't. Now he drags the entire republican party down with him; having them demonstrate their fealty to him even if it means they vote against the facts, against the video evidence and his own words. Such are the final convulses of the defunct republican party. Once the republican Senators vote to acquit, they will also be voting to end the republican party as we know it; no longer will they be able to claim the mantle of law and order, fairness, and conservative ideals. They are a rudderless, decrepit, lost party. There are no more saviors or decent outcomes for this party. Time to throw it on the trash heap of failed political parties.
Young.Jedi (La,In, Ks, Id.,Ca.)
"To excuse Mr. Trump’s attack on American democracy would invite more such attempts, by him and by other aspiring autocrats. The stakes could not be higher. A vote for impunity is an act of complicity." Republicans, now Trumplicans, have painted themselves and our country into a dangerous corner. They face embracing a soul less monster and his mob or doing the right thing but losing what remaining power they have in the moment. Voters who have a conscience must put these Trumplicans out their misery in every coming election. America's remains in danger as long as a major party embraces its worst elements of authoritarianism, gaslighting, violence and thuggery.
B. Rothman (NYC)
The Senators who cannot being themselves to convict will thereby be voting to keep themselves bound in the snare of these most violent voters. If they convict Trump he can no longer serve in any office politically. This gets him off their backs and makes him irrelevant to any run of theirs. Will his “voters” choose Democrats in the next election out of pique with their own representatives? Very unlikely. So the Senators are freed to appeal to their voters on their own terms without Trump’s shadow threat hanging over them. But that’s not what they want. They want to inherit these voters for the foreseeable future and they are betting that making nice through party loyalty, no matter the damage to democracy and truth, is a safer bet for them personally. Others, because of age and newly elected status see party loyalty as more important to them and their personal careers than a patriotic vote to uphold the Constitution. Both situations are short sighted, unpatriotic and cowardly.
Stuart (Alaska)
This impeachment trial sadly shows that the Senate as a legislative body has been destroyed, as was the desire of Republicans since 2008. Republicans recognize this, and that why the only masters they pay attention to are those who run the propaganda machine. Can we now move on to an actual sedition trial with a real jury, not this kangaroo court?
Sarah (New York)
I hope the republicans realize their grave mistake if they do not vote to impeach, when those registered as such, continue to leave the party in disgust. it's impossible to fathom their blind misguided loyalty to a man who is so damaged emotionally that he cannot lead, and is incapable of change. They are not blind. This leaves me to believe the obvious, their party alliance is more important than the effective and civilized government of the USA. If they were concerned about the country, they'd stop this nonsense and vote to keep this man out of office forever for the atrocity he created and cheered on. Surely there are better options of leaders in this USA!
Doc A (New York)
On a positive note, it will not take a “super-majority” to vote those scoundrels out of office.
Gabor (Washington state)
Mitch McConnell, not house representative Greene is the true "cancer" of the republican party and the American political system. He enabled Trump's rise by his malevolent actions against the Obama administration. If there is no criminal conviction of Trump's treasonous deeds, corruption and his flagrant financial crimes, the "real" USA has been extinguished.It will also prove beyond a doubt, that justice is beholden to money and the very wealthy.
JAR (NYC)
There is a Part A & B to the prosecution’s case, and B is much easier to prove. Part A - Did Trump foment the riot? Seems clear to me he did, but not as clear as Part B or nearly as easy to prove. Part B - Did Trump know of the riot and do nothing to stop it? There are Trump staffers who saw Trump watching the riot on television. So he knew of it. Yet, he did nothing. If these easily proven facts are not enough to convict Trump then nothing is. Then the only benefits of the impeachment will be to document Trump’s crimes for posterity and to create strong campaign points for democrats running against republicans who voted for acquittal.
Glen Kaye (Salem, Oregon)
We have watched how dictatorships begin. Now let us put an end to it.
Dennis (Hood River Oregon)
The painful and no-win position the Democrats are in is that if they go after Trump to hold him accountable, it will only strengthen the resolve and anger from his base-convicting him will not change their minds. And if they decide to play nice and let it go, they will have turned a blind eye to the lies, delusion, and violence of the extremists of the right. Unfortunately, the spineless Republican lawmakers are complicit themselves, we cannot count on them to do their constitutional duty. I reserve my deepest disgust for them.
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
If, in the end, the truth doesn't matter, than nothing does. Welcome to the moral vacuum of the modern GOP. I hope you people enjoy your new master. Because I'll tell you one thing, you better do exactly what he says, when he says it, or the next time the mob storms the Capitol - which it very likely will, thanks to you - it may just be you're name that they'll be calling out in the halls. It may just be you that they're looking to drag from the building and take to the gallows on the lawn. And if that day ever comes, you will have no one but yourselves to blame for it. You better do what Trump says, "or else!". (And if you believe the defense team, those are just two harmless little words) You people have made a deal with the Devil. You sold your souls for some transitory job security - while selling the entire nation down the drain. God help you.
Marc (Vermont)
The actions of the Republicans supporting the ex are like corrupt cops who have been on the take, and if they get a conscience they are dead. Yes, if their leader shot and killed someone on 5th avenue, and they were on the jury, they would vote to acquit him of murder - in any degree. Such are the wages of corruption.
weary traveller (USA)
Please stop preaching to the choir aka if people are reading this they are scared of "future" armed insurrection by Trump or this successor later on .. definitely happening! GOP says 70 million people acquits Trump and that says it , we need to brace for the long cold winter in USA democracy and only God know how many lives will be lost like Germany the century ago . When 400K peoples Covid-`19 death did not sway GOP voters , make no mistake GOP do not care for deaths of common people like us. and They do not care what so called liberal NYT says either! I hate to say during the insurrection of Jan 6 I do not think GOP senators did fear for their life except for VP Pence and more and more I feel the Dem Senators and Congressmen will be lost soon and in future and Trump takes us to real dictatorship or banana republic that all of GOP now wants and prays for !
Bookman_Ofek01 (Planet Earth)
Good luck with that! Trump will get away with murder. The GOP's should be ashamed of them selves. May God help us all if is Trump is re-elected.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
Donald J. Trump and each and every one of his supporters are our "enemies, foreign and domestic." They support an armed insurrection to overthrow the government of the United States. They are a bigger threat to America than is ISIS, Al Qaeda, or the Taliban. They are domestic terrorists. And they are guilty of sedition and treason.
Joe Miksis (San Francisco)
Of course Trump is guilty. Most of the world watched him commit his sedition in real time over the past six months. But none of these so-called "Republican" senators, sitting as jurists, are American patriots. Not a one of these GOP men and women have any regard for the US Constitution. They have all proven themselves to be Trump's abetters and enablers. Trump is indeed the white supremacist mafia's "capo di tutti capi" ... but all of these "senators" have been, and remain, his loyal "caporegime".
SA (01066)
It profits a person nothing to give up his or her soul for the whole world...but for Donald Trump???
hm1342 (NC)
In another article from the Times: "Fact Check - Trump’s Lawyers Repeated Inaccurate Claims in Impeachment Trial" "The three members of the former president’s legal team made a number of misleading or false claims about the events of Jan. 6, antifa, the impeachment process and voter fraud." Has the Times made ANY effort to "fact check" the House managers in their presentation? Or is it the assumption of the Times that Democrats won't in any way, shape, manner or form alter facts or lie to advance their case?
Ben (NYC)
This entire "trial" is nothing but a joke and a waste of time. We all know how this will end. There will be about 56 votes to convict and 44 to acquit. Yes, I know it is important that we have the details and such on the record...blah, blah, blah. But all of us will be dead and gone when this era in our history will be read. No one mind will be changed, especially the Republicans and his supporters. The latest reporting now is Trump's call with Rep McCarthy; all a waste of time. CNN is framing it as if any of this new information will change any of the minds of the Republican Senators? Are you kidding me? NOTHING will change their minds. It's over It's a done deal Finished Cue the fat lady
SMM (Los Angeles, California)
So... apparently, you can not indict a sitting president (courtesy of Mueller), And... apparently, you can't indict a former president (courtesy of 45 GOP senators), So... we are not actually a democracy.... Any suggestions regarding how to explain this to my 3 elementary age children....?
Entre (Rios)
@SMM They argue you can't put a former president on trial, and then there is the January exception. I would tell my children to be politically aware and to vote local to federal.
James W. Chan (Philadelphia, PA)
Blind Americans are trying to lead those who can see. Donald J. Trump is guilty of inciting a riot to keep himself in power and to continue to con men's minds.
Incidentalist (Danbury CT)
If a plurality of Republican Senators will find their "I am Spartacus" moment in their lives and vote to convict, they will demonstrate the sacrifice, the courage and the truth necessary to "Make America Great Again" In truth, it has always needed to be a Republican to tell the truth to another Republican; so it is here. They need to find their Joseph Welch decency to geld this despotic McCarthy; they need to locate their fatherly Goldwater to bring a fallen Nixon to heal. And for God sakes, realize this was an attempted coup by the very soul, if not flesh, of the same opponents of human rights which necessitated the guard to admit James Meredith, the same hate of Timothy McVeigh, the same hate of Bull Connor and George Wallace, the KKK and the John Birch Society. That is all repudiated; so it is now.
Rep de Pan (Whidbey Island,WA)
Of course it can, and probably will, happen again. What was it senator Collins said after she voted to acquit at Trump's previous impeachment? Oh, that's right it was "I think he's learned his lesson".
PubliusMaximus (Piscataway, NJ)
Near the end of the Roman republic if a politician had enough money and influence to raise his own army he could attack the existing order and gain power. This began to happen with regularity, and with the prevailing life expectancy of 40 years or so, it wasn't long before very few were around who could remember the days of the real republic. Enter Caesar. Octavian restored order and the Roman Republic, which had lasted almost 500 years, was dead. We should bear this history in mind.
Kenny Fry (Atlanta, GA)
“Yet nearly no one expects the Senate to convict.” Correct — since Jan. 8, two days after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the narrative has consistently and uniformly unfolded that Trump and his enablers would not be held responsible. We are witnessing the end of our democracy as we know it: “…the extremism that flourished under his administration is embedded in our politics.” — Lisa Lerer, “Donald Trump’s Impeachment Legacy: Violent Extremism” https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/13/us/politics/donald-trump-impeachment.html Unfortunately, those in “leadership” have not learned from history, and We, the Everyday People, will pay the price…
dcl_ (Virginia USA)
It is abundantly clear Trump is guilty of many *actual* *pedestrian* *crimes*, including - there is no other way to say this - *intentionally* putting Vice President Pence's life at risk and, according to this CNN report recounting a phone conversation between McCarthy and Trump in the heat of the 1/6/21 Capitol Battle when McCarthy feared for his life, the lives of several others at risk - intentionally. It is absolutely astonishing that in the face of this, Republican Senators are teed up to give Trump a Mulligan and evidently not fully comprehending that it could just as easily have been them instead of Pence and McCarthy. And might well be next time. Astonishing. https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/12/politics/trump-mccarthy-shouting-match-details/index.html
Robert (Seattle)
And the evidence keeps piling up, while Congressional Republicans keep digging the hole deeper. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican rep from my neck of the woods, now says that Trump sided with the insurrectionists as the assault took place. Herrera Beutler is worth listening to. She represents our 3rd congressional district. It runs Republican but Herrera Beutler has won re-election as a smack-dab middle-of-the-road centrist. She's independent, decent, honest, competent. Not your usual Lindsay Graham, Kevin McCarthy immoral, dishonest dust-bunny. See: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/us/mccarthy-trump-herrera-beutler.html
Ellensburg (WA)
McConnell's suggestion (privately of course) that he was leaning toward acquittal may be based on his calculation that the evidence presented damages Trump enough to make him less of threat. The self-serving republicans can then vote to acquit and not anger the base while not having to worry so much about Trump 2024.
Telma Koch (New York)
The GOP needs to find decent law abiding people within their ranks to run for office. They should not support some crazy guy just because he’ll deliver them a win. It’s tempting but in the end, they lose credibility and respect from voters. The impeachment trial shows that Republicans will support someone who seeks to destroy the very House they represent.
James Gifford (Denver, Colorado)
The House has long had an Unamerican Activities Committee. Unfortunately, the Senate now has one as well, and it's called the GOP caucus.
JBT (zürich, switzerland)
Never underestimate the American people. As for the Republicans - if they look the other way, it is merely a sign they are lost and have no other leader to offer up for our country.
Grace (MD)
Let's see if I have this likely acquittal right: Let's say I call everyone I know and ask them to call others. My message is that they should march to the Capitol and demand justice (however they might define it). They should be prepared to fight, and to restore whatever they deem should be restored. So, my loyal friends all march off to the Capitol, injure a hundred or so government employees, maybe 4 or 5 government employees or police end up dying, a lot of property gets destroyed, and we all gleefully post on our social media accounts how we spent that day. I am not responsible for this, right? Maybe arrest those others who thought I was serious when I called them and suggested they march to the Capitol. That's their problem for being so gullible. For me -- hey, I was just exercising free speech and having a little fun with my friends. I'm guessing that all of us who have grievances can now legally assemble a mob (1st Amendment - free speech) and encourage them to go and fight for our grievances -- anywhere really; it doesn't have to be at the Capitol. If they do it, well of course there would be consequences. But For those of us who gathered and encouraged the mob -- not guilty. Just having a little fun that is protected by free speech. Right? Thank you Trump. You have even deregulated law and order and -- Wow! Big MAGA cheer here! -- insurrection as a crime. Such a simple and effective solution for airing any grievances, and we would be innocent. Just free speech.
Jimmy (North Carolina)
Having listened to the trial, I would vote to convict. The House Managers gave a very well-organized and compelling argument for impeachment. It's only real weaknesses is it relied too much on news reports and only insinuated what Trump knew and intended. The calling of Rep. Beutler seems extremely important, since if Trump openly expressed support of the rioters as the violent riot was happening, then that clearly establishes what he knew and that he violated his oath of office and that strongly suggests he intended to start a riot. On the other hand, Trump's defense is poorly organized and at time boarders on the absurd. Trump did not tell people to fight via primaring RINOs in 2022! Trump's lawyer, Michael van der Veen, is extremely hostile and combative towards the House Managers and Senate. I can't stand that guy. But I think the Republican base finds the defense compelling, but mostly because they are rationalizing. As it is, I think Trump will be acquitted on a purely a party line vote. Based on all this, I think it is clear that not only should Trump be convicted (and won't), but the vast majority of the Republican party is responsible for the riots. Especially the Trump voters and 45 senators. We have to hold them accountable. We have to keep them from power by any means necessary. Unity and the pandemic no longer matter. The only thing that matters is defeating those Republican traitors.
john-anthony (48228)
Readers should read Marc Anthony's brilliant, masterfully constructed funeral oration speech in Shakespeare's, Julius Caesar. Without ever explicitly urging the crowd to retaliate with vengeance against Caesar's killers, Anthony, by subtle suggestion, whips the crowd into a such frenzy that they run away without any prompting by Anthony to furiously wreak vengeance on Caesar's murders! If the Senate votes not to convict Trump of any impeachable office, future aspiring and actual Presidents can draw the following reasonable conclusions from such a dangerous precedent: 1) A President can flagrantly and willfully ignore our duly certified constitutional authorities which solely they decide election results, i.e. the Constitutionally specified courts, state authorities, etc; 2) promiscuous lying, the invoking of conspiracy theories to explain away inconvenient facts pays handsome political dividends. In other words, there is NO political cost for such vulgar, immoral, dangerous Presidential behavior; 3) despite being our chief law enforcement official, a President can abjectly fail to exercise his Constitutional duty with utter impunity; 4) the impeachment clause of our Constitution, which is our nation's sole means of removing an unfit President between elections, has been shown to be hopelessly ineffectual; 5) the politically currency of our nation's politics can very easily be debased by the relentless creation of alternative "facts" by a wily, unscrupulous demagogue.
plex (Harrisburg, PA)
I find a comparison between Trump's capitol insurrection and John Brown's insurrection at Harper's Ferry to be interesting: At Harpers Ferry, John Brown and a group of supporters, led by him, government facility, in that case an armory, and briefly occupied it Donald Trump and a group of supporters launched an insurrection against the US Capitol itself and briefly occupied it John Brown's motive was to abolish slavery, providing an oppressed people with weapons to fight against their oppressors Donald Trump's motive was to subvert the certified results of an election so that he could personally remain in power John Brown's insurrection included family members who fought alongside him (two sons were killed) Donald Trump's family had a tent party just before the insurrection and, after rallying their "troops," sent them off to fight alone, facing no consequences while many of the supporters were arrested and now face charges John Brown was captured, roughed up, and hanged for treason Donald Trump has retreated to a Florida resort and, due to the clear flaws in our democratic system, will likely evade federal charges of any kind Takeaways, anyone? Aside from the fact that Trump is clearly the coward by comparison, and a true fascist in every sense of the word, I can't help but think that we no longer have the will to defend this democracy against traitors. In 1859, it was done for a horrible cause. Today, an attack on our very Capitol is dismissed as "politics."
heinryk wüste (nyc)
This whole trial ends in a total charade. It‘s very unfortunate that we can‘t get justice established anymore in this country and lock Trump up. The world is watching again and we certainly have not gained any respect by losing this trial, because it clearly demonstrates how broken and endangered our political system and democracy still is.
Not Pierre (Houston, TX)
The problem for Rubio, Cruz, and other senators hoping to run in 2024 is that they don’t understand the real medical definition of sociopathic. They will have to run against Trump in 2023 and 2024 if they want a shot. Trump will run again if they don’t vote to impeach. With two years before the next presidential campaign starts to hear up, they will have time to re-strategize, do several mea culpa’s, reposition themselves by saying I voted because enough was enough. Then Trump is out of the political picture. Trump already has his website up saying he IS president and carrying on the duties of president now.
132madison (Buffalo Grove, IL)
so true. watching the machinations for the opposite is gut-wrenching
steve (columbus)
"This abdication of duty is heartbreaking for the nation." Sad to say, we ain't seen nothing yet. This death spiral of our has further depths to plumb.
KS (NY)
I've served on a grand jury and a murder trial. In both cases, it was necessary to pay attention to testimony and do my best to be objective. Is there some reason all 100 US Senators regardless of Party, aren't doing likewise?
Michael (Toronto)
America’s promise to itself and the world is that anything is possible. The sycophantic Republican Senators now in a position to prevent Trump from ever becoming a public servant again, make possible the continued promotion of an autocratic self-serving leader committed to dismantling the Republic. Your Founding Fathers provided the People with interventions that in 2021 have become weaponized in ways that undermine the democratic ideal. America once served as a beacon of hope and idealism for the world. It can no longer lay claim to that promise. When Trump is acquitted for a second time by the Senate it is entirely possible that he becomes the 47th POTUS. And if that happens, don’t be surprised if Trump commissions his spray-tanned face to be sculpted into the side of Mt. Rushmore; because in the USA anything is possible.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is going to be remembered as the John Dean of the Trump era. Who will be the Alexander Butterfield? The beans are about to get spilled in public, and there is going to be no doubt about what Trump was doing on January 6. A bunch of Senate Republicans, to use Mike Bloomberg's witticism, will be found to have been "swimming without their trunks" (no pun intended about Republicans and elephants). But we already knew that; some of us just were not actually willing to admit that. And then Trump is going to get convicted. You heard it here first.
3Rs (Bucks County PA)
The establishment won, Trump is out. Just because the establishment is scared of Trump does not mean that we need to get along for the ride and exterminate Trump. The establishment has four years to prove that they are better than Trump. Why are they afraid?
Bull Rush (Up North)
So if the Republicans don’t convict Trump of fomenting a riot to attack the Capitol, then Trump could have a nuclear arsenal at his command again someday. I was just starting to sleep well at night again after four years of worrying about our world’s future being in the hands of a lunatic.
Ellen (New York)
If Trump or his enablers and attorneys told me what day it is, I'd check three calendars. They are incapable of telling the truth.
Kate (Tempe)
It is fun for teachers of rhetoric to introduce students to theorists such as Aristotle and Cicero, assigning study of charismatic American orators and writers who urged citizens to fulfill the nation’s promise: Thomas Paine (Congressman Raskin’s favorite), through Barak Obama. It is not nearly as enjoyable but necessary to check out the dark side and examine how demagogues like Father Coughlin and Senator McCarthy exploited prejudice, fear, and insecurity to gain power. Ever since Trump descended the escalator, his malignant presence dominated public discourse. From the start it was apparent that his lies, distortions, fallacies and attacks come straight from the dictator’s rhetorical handbook: Many note how he is especially adept at bullying, gaslighting, doublespeak, and Putinesque whataboutism (tu quoque), hypocritically accusing others of his own despicable conduct. In consequence, our society diminishes, and we suffer the damages this execrable liar relentlessly inflicts. His ardent followers are a death cult enabled by ambitious, selfish, quisling Congressional representatives. Even rejected and disgraced, he has created a mass of brainwashed supporters - many deluded Q lunatics and those violent marauders attacking the Capitol, but a YUUUGE group of less activist adherents. He must be convicted, stripped of power- or we are in very grave danger. He is not done yet, and this crisis gives us the chance to recover - or it won’t end well.
Dossman (Lexington, KY)
The Republicans wouldn't have the courage to convict the ex-president even if Jesus came back, appeared on the Senate floor and said, "Look, I know he's guilty and you know he's guilty. Just for the record, I'm telling you to do the right thing." Their only response to Jesus would be, "But wait, we thought you were a Republican!" To which Jesus would reply, "And I thought you believed in justice." To which they would reply, "Be gone with him. crucify him, crucify him!" To which Jesus would reply, "You folks remind me of another crowd I stood before about 2000 years ago. They had no principles or courage either. I'm outta here."
Gene Martin (San Francisco)
Thank you for stating the bleeding obvious.
Socrates (Downtown Verona, NJ)
Trump’s mob ransacked the United States Capitol and Congress fueled by Trump’s giant bucket of lies. Without Trump’s carefully fomented lies, there would have been no attack on the Capitol. He was the singular cause of the Jan 6 attack. He is the guiltiest man in America and the evidence is all on videotape or Twitter. The Republican Senators are abandoning the republic in favor of mob rule. Impeach the Republican Party in 2022 and 2024.
SomeGuy (Ohio)
@Socrates Maybe "Goya" would have served you as an alias as well--as in the Goya print "The sleep of reason produces monsters". Socrates is timeless. So is Goya. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/arts/design/goya-met-museum.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage§ion=Art%20%20Design
Hoop (Hoopland)
Can be adults for a minute? We all know this is a political kneecapping and nothing else. That is why, although it perfectly doable, they haven't sent the FBI to arrest Trump in Palm Beach. They don't have a case that would stand up in a court. We all know if this had been a mob of young black men, there would have been no forced entry, but there would have been bodies full of bullet holes all over the Capitol. Therefore what there ought to be is an investigation into why the Capitol police on the scene, though sufficiently armed and numerous enough, failed to keep a mob out of the Capitol, at some points acting like tour guides in a museum, just there to watch out for the furnishings. As a life long Liberal who now wants nothing to do with the Democrat Party, I am appalled at this misdirected charade when real work needs to be done for working people. This is bogus political impeachment #2, and it's going to fail. Good!
Hugh Jones (Midwest)
Agreed, but we all know that Republicans will vote for no conviction in numbers great enough to prevent Trump being convicted. Trying a case in a vile place like Congress, with its blind partisanship, constantly warring factions, spineless sycophants like Lindsey Graham, all out nuts like Marjorie Taylor Greene, and corrupt rich white men like Mitch McConnell is a global embarrassment. This could never be anything other than a kangaroo court, in this case in reverse, to acquit Trump no matter how terrible and obvious his crimes. The Founders set up the President as the King they all knew and hated but were still locked in a codependency with. The Constitution is weak and needs to be updated, but never will be. America will always be a roiling mess of people too different from each other to agree on what to serve at a neighborhood barbecue let alone how to live.
David (CA)
The NYT keeps talking about the Republican Party “reclaiming” itself from MAGA. That is a fantasy. There is no daylight between the two. These 44 Senators about to disgrace their offices, just as Trump disgraced his, support and AGREE with Trumpism. The white supremacy, the disdain for democracy, the endless lying - all of it. They are themselves co-conspirators in the Big Lie of the “stolen” election and violence that followed. The only solution for our country is to vote this noxious party out of office at every level.
NYshack (Hudson)
I know, I know, it's not a real trial, it's an impeachment trial. And they're not real jurors, because jurors are supposed have an open mind, right? And real jurors are supposed to pay attention. Let's face it, if these were real jurors they would have gone through vior dire. The prosecution and defense would have agreed that the jurors were not complete idiots. If a real jury were to be used in this case, The votes would probably be about 90% guilty. I would be proud of those imaginary senators.
rich (hutchinson isl. fl)
I watched as the entire Senate and all assembled, give Capital Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal, for his bravery,give and then standing ovations for all the police who did likewise in the fight against the seditionist mob that attacked the Capital. Those same Republican Senators who stood and applauded the police who fought the mob that carried the Trump flag, are now poised to hold unaccountable the person who incited the insurrection with lies about election fraud; set the time and date for them to assemble; incited and endorsed their attack, and then refused House Minority Leader McCarthy's request to send help to the out numbered police. They will be forever identified by their vote today as spineless traitors.
Jesse (USA)
Wasn't Vincent Bugliosi's case against Charles Manson built around the notion that he incited people to commit crimes without directly ordering them to do anything specific? Trump did everything but write "Helter Skelter" on the White House in Mike Pence's blood. If he's not guilty, then the world owes Charlie a big posthumous apology.
Falstaff (Stratford-upon-Avon)
Please call witnesses! Why is this being rushed? The first impeachment Republicans prevented sworn testimony, but at least it took 21 days. Now Dems are in control and again no sworn testimony?!? The witnesses to this crime are the Senators themselves. At a minimum call on Eugene Goodman the hero on Jan 6th
Pablo (Down The Street)
But the emails!! Seems so 2016 now doesn’t it. Republicans don’t have a leg to stand on at this point other than mob rule and thats what they are positioning for.
Frank McNeil (Boca Raton, Florida)
"Next time . . . they will have only themselves to blame." Wrong. This time they have only themselves to blame. -------------- I wonder if anyone in Trump's base noted that with the exception of a feeble attempt by Trump's lawyers to claim that only a "small number" rioted, the lawyers in their effort to save Trump from conviction threw the January 6 demonstrators to the wolves, endorsing punishment for their crimes. That's what Trump always does; he kicks his supporters, like former Vice President Pence, under the bus if it helps Trump get his way. Guess it's called tough love in Trump world. -------------------- Your good grey journalism has not noted one of the signal achievements of Trump's lawyers, the conversion of Malapropism into an art form. I understood their reference to the famed Pittsburg quarterback as a Hail Mary pass, to escape the pass rush of the House Impeachment Managers. But I was really taken by the idiotic negation of the rioting mob's self-description as the "cavalry" in which Trump's lawyer ventured into theology to explain they really meant Mt. Calvary. My favorite, however, was his reference to the destruction wrought at the Capitol as "The Resurrection". What is not funny is that Republican Senators were quoted as saying Trump's lawyers did a good job Friday.
Kim (New England)
The only time I've seen him stand against violence in a meaningful way was when he was speaking about the protests this summer. "THIS WILL STOP, HERE AND NOW." Never again has he spoken like that about violence, not when Gretchen Whitmire was threatened, not when the mob broke into the Michigan capitol building, not when churches were burned after the MAGA march, not when a woman was killed in Charlottesville, not when groups were plotting violence about the election, and not when the mob broke into the capitol building with weapons and zip ties shouting threats to the congressmen/women and the vice president. This man is vile.
Mark Keller (Portland, Oregon)
To quote Ari Melber: "A failed Coup attempt, without accountability, is a dress rehearsal".
jwhelwig (Amsterdam)
Republican senators, at least a bunch, want this to happen again, because by acquiting Trump of a crystal clear immense offense against democracy, they show to choose their own future power above their country, their people and the Constitution. And then they will be sure they succeed. And America stops being a democracy. This is who they are. Look at history. This is the craddle of fascism.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
The Senators should vote to hear from witnesses, including Senator Tuberville as to the reported phone call in which Tuberville told Trump that the Secret Service had taken Pence out of the Senate chamber for his protection, and from Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, Republican of Washington, recounted a phone call relayed to her by Mr. McCarthy of California, the minority leader, in which Mr. Trump was said to have sided with the rioters, telling the top House Republican that members of the mob who had stormed the Capitol were “more upset about the election than you are.” Perhaps Rep. McCarthy should also be required to appear. Then they can hold the vote on guilt or innocence. They should also cite the lawyers representing Trump for lying to the Senate, which appears to be an offense under 18 USC 1001(c)(2). 18 U.S. Code § 1001 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully— (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; ... shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, (c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to— 2) any investigation or review, conducted ... consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.
Chip Steiner (USA)
To the members of the United States Congress who vote to acquit Donald Trump: by this act you declare Trump innocent and by such declaration you legitimize the incitement to violence as a normal exercise of the "politial process" in what was, until January 6, 2021, our democracy.
Mark Keller (Portland, Oregon)
To paraphrase the great Ari Melber: If you convict, you make the January 6th insurgency a failed Coup d'état. If you don't, it was a dress rehearsal.
Becca Helen (Gulf of Mexico)
The Democratic senators who managed this trial gave a rock solid proof that the United States of America is now in VERY good hands. How can Trump and the Republicon$ in the senate live with themselves? Soulless shells, all of them.
MDCOOKS8 (West Of The Hudson GFY)
Premeditated Judgement for 4 plus years... Meanwhile, Biden is still trying to pacify extremists concerning the 9/11 attack with his announcement he still wants to shutdown Guantanamo Bay...
Francescolinho (Croton on Hudson)
He will not get convicted by the senate. But can't he then be tried by a civil court? look, what if he were not the president, but say, a Qanon leader. What would happen?
Old Ben (Chester Cty PA)
One key obfuscation Trump's lawyers keep repeating is to claim 'Words matter.' and then to conflate the word explicit with the word implicit, words that have vastly different meanings. They say of Trump's Ellipse speech that his words, implicit and explicit, show his intention that the march to the Capitol be peaceful. Webster's: "implicit 1a: capable of being understood from something else though unexpressed : IMPLIED So he mentions 'peaceful', but also clearly implies deep displeasure with Pence, which he repeats by tweet at about Pence is being rescued from his first location by a SWAT team. He also tells the crowd about 'brave senators ... and then some who are not so brave, oh, I could tell you who they are ...' as though such statements do not imply his views that he is being betrayed by some senators in the final act of the Steal his claims is happening, after telling the crowd that the election is being stolen from them. Explicitly none of those words order the crowd to attack the Senate or the House. Explicitly they do not tell the crowd to hang Mike Pence. Yet the implicit messages signal that only 'true patriots' can 'stop the Steal' and prevent their country from being stolen from them. This wasn't some Qanonymous voice on the deep web. This was POTUS putting out conflicting implicit and explicit messages.
Vicki (Queens, NY)
Trump is guilty as charged in the Article and should also be disqualified from ever holding public office again. Abdication of duty by Trump is painfully clear. He orchestrated the many efforts to interfere with the electoral vote count, incited the Jan. 6 riot, did nothing to stop the attack on the Capitol and even knowingly hung his own VP Pence out to dry. It was a failed insurrection, but nearly was successful. We all saw it, and no third-rate lawyers can whitewash the stain he has left on our country. Now it is up to each Senator to do their duty to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. To vote “not guilty” would be an abdication of their solemn oath. You’re here to protect the country, not your party and certainly not your backside. Here, right matters. Or at least it used to. Do the right thing.
Small Town (Illinois)
It’s easy to see why most Repubublican senators will not find Trump guilty. If Trump is guilty, so are they. He robbed the bank. They drove the getaway car.
thomas salazar (new mexico)
As Biden starts the day with signs on his lawn with sentiments of "Love " and "Joy" we look in the rear view mirror full of billboards saluting anger and entitlement.
A. F. G. Maclagan (Melbourne, Australia)
Maybe those doodling, distracted Republicans really DO want trump "hanging around their necks, clawing at their throats indefinitely". He provides them cover, he wears the opprobrium of saner America, and most importantly, he gets done what they're too cowardly to do themselves.
CEA (Burnet)
What are you guys smoking? According to your own reporting, Lindsay Graham will be visiting with Trump to tell him the GOP will not be able to regain the House and the Senate in 2022 without him. So no, the reality is that Marjorie Green has it right, the GOP is Trump’s party through and through. There is nothing else to it.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
Dear Republicans, It's a slippery slope. 1. First you espoused the principles of limited government. And some of you adopted a libertarian view. 2. Then Ronald Reagan proclaimed, "Government IS the problem." 3. Then Steve Bannon called for "deconstruction of the administrative state." 4. And, most recently, your base staged the Insurrection of January 6 -- an attempt to overthrow the government of the United States of America through violence. You are all frogs in boiling water, oblivious to the rising temperature, as our country is slowly being cooked. "It can't happen here." - Oh yes it can, and it is. - This is American Fascism, wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.
Taurusmoon2000 (Ohio)
Trump was a hyper-menace to our democracy, but he was transparent about his wickedness, tweeting before, during and after every one of his shameless, dangerous, egregious actions as POTUS. And Trump was only all about himself, his re-election and his personal gains from the Office. Most of GOP senators are all about themselves too, their reelection, their presidential ambitions, their hunger for power, but they are profiles in cowardice, cunning, hypocrisy and abject lack of transparency. They hide behind made up arguments to avoid convicting DT for fear of reprisal; they too are a menace to our democracy. But the most pernicious menace to our society is Trump’s so called base - unenlightened, bigoted, insecure, deplorable, violent and servile to this one shameless dude. Not just the rioters but all those tens of millions who voted for DT and still approve of him. Until they awake and reform, our democracy’s future is in bleak.
Mark (OH)
If the rioters who were calling for the death of Mike Pence, had actually killed him, would the prosecution be presenting their case to theatrically uninterested republican eyes, and ears?  Would this, at last, have been your Rubicon?  Given the bottomless pit of oath breaking cowardice that I have witnessed in the last four years, I am sad to say,  I doubt it.
Ivan (Memphis, TN)
It is interesting that McConnell in the end had to allow the worst outcome for his own party, and the best for Democrats. Trump being a real possibility as the GOP candidate in 2024 will be a never ending inspiration for democrats, and also prevent the restructuring of GOP. Sure Trump supporters are a majority in the GOP, but they never were and never have been a majority of US voters. That's why he lost by such a large margin. His support is not going to get any stronger from here. Sure his cult followers will never move on, but significant numbers of people who voted for him will slowly move on. Other cult leader wannabe's will become impatient and start splitting the GOP apart.
julia (USA)
It can’t happen here? It has. I have no words for my disappointment, dismay and horror. My long life has seen ups and downs, and I won’t be here much longer, but my children and grandchildren will. I want to have hope but I fear for them.
hm1342 (NC)
"Trump Is Guilty" Trump may be guilty of a great many things, but he is NOT guilty of "incitement of insurrection". There's just really no other way to describe this obsession you have with Trump other than pure, unadulterated hatred. It has been this way since Trump came down the escalator in 2015. "The prosecution had a glut of supporting evidence...armed with a cache of tweets and other social media posts." Yeah, about that... "Trump Team Reveals House Impeachment Managers Altered Evidence" https://headlineusa.com/house-managers-altered-evidence/ And let's not forget that Chief Justice John Roberts refused to preside at the trial. Said Senator Rand Paul: "The Constitution says two things about impeachment — it is a tool to remove the officeholder, and it must be presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Neither one of those things will happen. President Trump is gone, and Justice John Roberts, properly noticing the absence of an officeholder being impeached, is declining to preside. That settles it for me." https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/535582-boycott-sham-impeachment All you want is to finally put a stake through Trump's political heart and silence his supporters, whatever it takes. Even if it's unconstitutional. You have no shame. 2/12/21 @ 10:57 p.m. EST 1st submit 2/13/21 @ 11:07 a.m. EST 2nd submit
Jimmy (North Carolina)
@hm1342 Trump is guilty as sin for incitement of insurrection. The current obsession with Trump is not out of hatred but out of a deep concern that our then president incited a riot at our Capitol building, our seat of power, purely so that he could overturn his election loss. If any Democrat did that I'd be just as shocked and dismayed. Honestly, yea, I totally want to silence Trump supporters at this point. You all are grown adults, most of you well over age 40 and some retired. You know how to act as responsible adults. Nonetheless, you all thought a reality TV star would make a great president and over devotedly loyal to him. Many of you believe in conspiracy theories like the election was stolen or QAnon. It is evident that you have neither the maturity, wisdom, nor judgment required of a citizen and voter. Perhaps as a point of enlightenment philosophy and constitutional law you have a voice. But beyond that... if the Senate Republicans vote to acquit Trump then I am done listening to anything you have to say. Note that I was very willing to forgive and forget any of Trump's misdeeds, until that riot on January 6.
Doug McKenna (Boulder Colorado)
Legislative or impeachment voting should initially be electronic and simultaneous to ascertain the decision without regard to who votes which way. Then an announcement occurs for the record as to who voted which way. You could even have semi-anonymous votes, where the vote is anonymous, but individual votes are revealed for the record, say, six months later (or no later than a few weeks before a given politician is up for reelection).
hm1342 (NC)
@Doug McKenna: "Legislative or impeachment voting should initially..." No. The vote should be public. No cowardly way out - let everyone see this. These Senators and House members are accountable to the voters and they are to follow the Constitution.
Ivor (UK)
At the beginning of the trial the defence were suggesting that the prosecution did not take the trial seriously because they were not calling any witnesses. I said at the time that there was no need for witnesses as the whole case was in public view. Apart from Trump's immediate initial reaction when he saw the storming of the Capitol that he had instigated and provoked. Now we know that there is evidence that he continued to support them even as they tried to attack his political colleagues. (If his final address to them saying "We love you" as they continued their attack within the Capitol was not enough.) And of course that evidence is now being brought forward. Surely, Republicans cannot continue their cynical disregard for truth and justice.
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
@Ivor said "Surely, Republicans cannot continue their cynical disregard for truth and justice." They can try. The question is whether we will allow them to get away with that.
Larry Buchas (New Britain, CT)
Of course there is no doubt. Trump should be branded a coward and traitor forever. Never forget he stood up for terrorist militias and never the American people. He belongs behind bars.
C. H. Smith (Georgia)
Trumps pathetic attempt and feeble defense is worthy of a good prison term.
yup (Accra)
Spineless, self-interested sycophants...all of them.. Democracy is a failure with such as these.
CA John (Grass Valley, CA)
At this point it's time to split the Republican party. Every decision legislators make should be aired in the light of racist protectionism vs. conservative orthodoxy. Let's show who is really what. Only Trump was able to gloss over the divide. The rest should thrown into it.
Incorporeal Being (here)
GOP Senators who value their own jobs and power over the preservation of our democracy will go down in history as complicit in the downfall of our nation.
Steven (Va)
“There are times, sir when men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders” Jean-Luc Picard - Star Trek Captain The fact that Republican Senators are afraid of the repercussions from Trump and his followers is the exact reason they should stand and convict him. If not, they leave Trump with power to do as he wishes. The fact that the Republican Senators do not want to stand against him shows this “invisible power” he holds over them. This is what the case is about, the ability for Trump to influence people, directly or indirectly. If Trump can influence US Senators to act blindly against justice, then this also shows how he influenced his followers to raid the Capitol. Republican Senators (and Republican House members) are proving the case for impeachment for incitement by ignoring their own good conscience.
MAI (Chicago)
This must have been one of the easier editorials for the NYT to write. The “right” vote isn’t a particularly close call here for those objectively looking at the horrifying facts as laid out at the trial and in the editorial. Regardless of the vote, the trial was a step toward “accountability” just for competently and coherently laying out the course of events and the source for sparking this dangerous uprising. And putting it on record. The defense was not only subpar — especially in comparison — but embraced the worst elements from the far right playbook: false equivalencies, out-of-context comparisons, hypocrisy, illogical arguments etc. So much so that partisan and Republicans without integrity who feel they MUST find a reason to acquit have gravitated toward the unconvincing position of “jurisdiction.” It is a clear way to avoid going on the record about the documented events of the day and still “justifying” a reason to acquit without political consequences. That leads to the media. I have yet to see the one question posed to these Republicans that needs to be asked to every one of them. Instead of arguing about the details and history of jurisdiction, instead of relying on the support of Constitutional lawyers and revering to former cases, follow up the answer with this simple question: “If Mr. Trump were still in office, and events played out exactly as they did, how would you vote?” Let the squirming begin!
David (San Francisco, CA)
I think this shouldn’t be about whether what Trump did was a crime—about whether or not he incited insurrection. Rather, I think it should be about what he did and didn’t do, said and didn’t say—how he conducted himself—from November 3, 2020 through January 20, 2021 befits the office of POTUS. Do we want another, future holder of the same office, from any party, to behave similarly, ever? If we do, then we should do nothing. If we don’t, then, obviously, we must take some sort of action to signal disapproval, to signal that what Trump did and didn’t do, said and didn’t say, wasn’t acceptable and must never even be contemplated, much less repeated by a future POTUS. Impeachment seems the most reasonable way to do that. Anyone got a better idea?
Chris Lynn (Marietta, GA)
I can understand the desire to move on and never hear the name 'Trump' again. And I can understand the argument that the senate's expected failure to convict does not matter, because the pusillanimous GOP senators will be forever tainted and reviled for it. But this ignores the concern raised by the Democratic side: that Trump will be free to run again, and to incite mobs all over the country to claim the contrary if he loses. Trump and his enablers remain a clear and present danger to our country; he MUST be prevented from holding office in future, and the political cult-members like Graham, Hawley and Cruz MUST be thoroughly exposed and discredited in the eyes of the public.
Mark McIntyre (Los Angeles)
What a surprising turn of events this morning. They're going to subpoena witnesses including a Republican Congresswoman and possibly Kevin McCarthy. He reportedly had a very heated phone conversation with Trump as the Capitol was being attacked and knows his mindset. Wow!
Walker (New York)
Trump famously told us that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose a single supporter. He was being too modest. At this point, he can say that he incited a riot leading to insurrection and the deaths of seven Americans, attempted to overthrow the government, and wanted to have the Vice President and Speaker of the House assassinated, without losing a single supporter.
Pat Boice (Idaho Falls, ID)
Of course Trump should be convicted. How could anyone with a mind open to facts decide otherwise. My confidence in the House of Representatives has been severely shaken by the likes of Greene, Boebert, Gaetz, Jordon and others who appear unhinged. This trial presented by the Democrats from the House of Representatives has shown that there really are some intelligent, dedicated, thoughtful Representatives in the House.
dudley thompson (maryland)
As the Senate haas just voted to allow witnesses, there may be a reversal of fortune in this trial. Perhaps if Trump is shown to support the rioters, it will change the minds of 10 or more GOP Senators. We still don't know what Trump knew, when he knew it, and what his reactions were.
Philip (Oregon)
At this point, were I to find a republican on fire I wouldn't P on them to put them out. They have become a real danger to any semblance of Democracy in America and deserve to return to ashes. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. RIP Republican Party.
MrC (Nc)
Trump has been represented throughout this impeachment by low grade lawyers because no decent firm would represent him. High profile top shelf lawyers would normally be clamoring to represent a President they know they could win. But the reason Trump will win is the jury is rigged. So a bunch of low grade lawyers will walk away and claim a win with a rigged jury
Frank (Columbia, MO)
The House managers were arguing that 2 + 2 = 4. Trump's lawyers were arguing that since China territory touches Russia, China is not really part of Asia, or like nonsense.
MrC (Nc)
Trump has threatened any senator who votes against him will be primaried or worse. Surely this is jury tampering
Charles (Washington, DC)
The acquittal of a president who incited and supported a violent attack on Congress would be a leading candidate for the saddest day in the history of the United States.
JSW (Seattle)
Thanks for this, it says everything I feel. Heartbroken, yes. Disgusted, yes. Fearful of the future with Republicans utterly without morals and with the passions of an evangelist - very.
Bear Hunter (Denver, CO)
Mr. Trump and his Republican backers have made it clear that his statement "I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a single supporter" was an understatement. Mr. Trump incited a riot that has so far claimed the lives of seven people, including three Capitol police officers. One hundred and forty police officers were injured, including victims who lost fingers and an eye. Yet Mr. Trump's cultish mob remains intact, some of those arrested are now walking around free on bail and his retinue of sycophantic legislators are willing accomplices to his crimes and destruction of our democracy. Thanks to Trump's inevitable acquittal by cowardly Republican Senators, his authoritarian vision for America's future is re-energized and weaponized for a future assault, since there is zero accountability and consequences for his actions. Republicans couldn't even hold him responsible for causing death and inciting attempted murder of his own Vice-President and the Speaker of the House, among others.
Lisa Kelly (San Jose, CA)
The fact the Republicans are willing to allow this behavior is beyond the pale.
dave (santa rosa)
Obviously, this was a all a big joke to the Republicans. History is a long time. Trump will be gone one day. The votes approving the rebellion are forever. Bad move. No do-overs boys and girls.
ExDoc (Watershed, MD)
in response to @ModDemo and replies In my opinion, the big questions are why did 74million Americans vote for trump and how does the Dem party give them a reason to vote Dem and not why won't the Senate convict him. Yes, trump is terrible and most (probably all) who voted against him in 2016 and 2020 knew that he was unqualified and incompetent and anticipated bad consequences of his presidency - but maybe not as bad as those of Jan 6th. I agree that not all trump voters are mindless, racist "deplorables", many are single issue voters on abortion, guns, immigration, and some did not trust the Dem party believing the GOP/trump message warning of "socialism"; neither the "costal elites' nor the progressive wing of the Dems helped in allaying these fears. While the anti-trump faction of America can hope that the events of Jan 6th and the abdication of Congressional Republicans to hold trump accountable for the consequences of his actions will bring many of those non-trumpist trump voters to the Dem party. Maybe, maybe not. However, what will not bring them to vote for a Dem candidate is continued vilifying of all trump voters. If the Dem party is true to its image as a "big tent", then it must recognize the validity of a spectrum of political thought. Most Congressional Republicans have shown their fear of trump and his base, in doing so they have shown their lack of qualification for the offices they hold and any vote to support trump should not come as a surprise.
Kibbitzer (East Coast, USA)
The Senators voting at the Senate Trial today need to look only at the merits of the evidence and leave all emotion aside,
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
Dear Republicans, You claim to be the party of "family values." How do you raise your children? Apparently, if they do something wrong, you just say a few words to them, "Don't do it again. I hope you learned your lesson." And then there are no consequences. What about "personal responsibility"? That is how you are treating Donald J. Trump. It reminds me of that court case in Texas a few years ago. A spoiled out-of-control teenager drove drunk, and killed several people (after getting away with everything prior to that for his entire life). His wealthy parents' lawyers presented the defense of "affluenza."
Randy Salzman (Virginia)
Many millions of us are ashamed we ever voted for any Republican. They are always putting Trump over party and party over country while lying in shouting, "America First."
David Kannas (Seattle, WA)
Trump and his minions have no choice but to admit to one of two facts: 1: He is too incompetent to foment what occurred on Jan. 6, or 2: He is guilty as charged. Both are reasons to step away from this failure of a man. The majority of the GOP, of course, will do no such thing and continue to whistle past the grave yard.
Robbiesimon (Washington)
Our system of government is clearly broken. Major factors: - Hyper-partisanship (Republicans are worse) - Career pols crazed by ambition and the lust for power.
GDK (Boston)
Trump was found Quilty the day he won the election.The despicable political hacks on the left were eager to destroy him even if it meant hurting the US.They did not like USA first policies, they want open borders, weak defense, anti Israel,racial identity policies, pro teachers union anti child, anti school choice agenda.Voter id is not racist, asking people for verifiable signatures is not voter suppression'Heated political rhetoric is the norm on both sides.What goes around comes around.The despicable rioters expected the same treatment after their long planned attack as the BLM riot fraction got.Equal justice is the only justice.
Robbiesimon (Washington)
Satire?
Joe (St.Louis)
A commitment to telling the truth along with character are no longer valued by the elected GOP congress or Senators. The USA sure isn’t what it used to be and I guess that is the big problem, white people can’t make it here anymore and they blame that on the black and brown citizens instead of the lying corporate monsters that demand slave labor for higher profit. They own the GOP. Trump must have something damaging on Lady G that’s the only way his behavior makes any sense.
Tournachonadar (Illiana)
Trump will go to his infernal reward secure in the knowledge that millions of Ummuricans love him and what he did to destroy the prestige of our country. His supporter, equally incapable of self awareness and candour, will continue in their intransigence and continue to undermine the Federal system while our enemies Russia and China look on with delight. The wedge of mindless belligerent rebellion has entered a crack in the edifice of the status quo, and it will have to crumble...
Ed (Washington DC)
Late breaking news this morning - a witness will be called...a Representative who heard another Representative say they talked with Trump on January 6th. This raises a question....many rioters said they were incited by Trump. Why can't they also be called as witnesses?
Friedrich Walter (Germany)
It seem quite unusual that in this trial victims and co-conspirators are the jury.
Beyond Belief (NJ)
Do you know who wins if Republican senators do not vote to convict Trump? It’s people who believe in the destruction of government, those like ex-Pres. Trump and his friend Steve Bannon, people who believe government serves one person, not the public interest, and those who trample the Constitution. Republication senators who do not vote to convict Trump, in full view of incontrovertible evidence that the president orchestrated the insurrection over the course of many months, are voting for the destruction of the Republican Party and the destruction of our democratic republic. Republicans have been headed in this direction for decades, and their anti-democratic actions (gerrymandering, other voter suppression tactics, deepening racial and economic divisions, to name just a few) will ultimately lead to some form of fascism. Where are the decent Republicans these days? Come out from hiding and act to preserve our great country!
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
Dear Republicans, You claim to be the party of "family values." How do you raise your children? Apparently, if they do something wrong, you just say a few words to them, "Don't do it again. I hope you learned your lesson." And then there are no consequences. That is how you are treating Donald J. Trump. What about "personal responsibility"?
Bull Rush (Up North)
FROM NYT JUST IN: “In her statement Friday night, Ms. Herrera Beutler said Mr. McCarthy told her that Mr. Trump had said the rioters storming the Capitol were “more upset about the election than you are,” and she pleaded with those who were at the White House with him that day, or former Vice President Mike Pence, to come forward and share eyewitness accounts and details about what they saw. “To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: If you have something to add here, now would be the time,” Ms. Herrera Beutler said in a statement. Afterward, multiple Democrats called for witnesses. But with many Republicans already on record vowing to vote for Mr. Trump’s acquittal, some Democrats were wary about the trial dragging on without any change in outcome as the pandemic continues to rage across the country. Several deferred to the House managers when pressed Saturday morning.“ MY COMMENT: I didn’t go to law school, but aren’t trials suppose to have witnesses testify?
Alan C Gregory (Mountain Home, Idaho)
The ex-president is guilty as charged. There is no other conclusion possible, given the evidence. Republicans who do not support his conviction will go down in history as cowards, men and women who did not follow their personal beliefs, and became gutless cowards in the end.
John Brews (Santa Fe, NM)
It turns out that “an impeachable offense” is one that allows GOP Senators to be re-elected. Which is to say, one that the Trump mob accepts. You know, those folks involved on Jan 6.
LiquidLight (California)
The only hope from the GOP's cowardice is the destruction of the GOP. As a famous Republican never said, "If you're stuck in a hole, dig deeper."
Chan (Tampa)
Like Al Capone I feel that his taxes will be what does him in.
nr (oakland, ca)
The defense was able to argue, awkwardly, that Trump didn’t incite. However, arguments for defending the indefensible— Trump’s provocations after the invasion, Trump not calling off the carnage, Trump’s refusal to call the National Guard — for these, the defense was not able to find words. Unbelievably blaming the Managers for not finding out themselves what their client, Trump, was doing during the hours after the first sign of violence at the doorsteps of the Capital to the end. I think that this indefensible fact was the core of Trump’s crimes against the country.
John S. (Camas WA)
MAGA: Make America Grieve Again
Contrary DAve (Texas)
You are technically correct, but there are a high percentage of 70 million Americans who disagree with you. I have friends who started the pandemic thinking that their decision to vote against HC was the right one and now think that only Trump speaks truth.
global citizen (world)
He will not be impeached. Republicans are cowards and have lost their moral compass.
EPJP (Boston)
To Trump supporters wake up! He is about to throw you under the bus
481,000 (USA)
Of course Trump is guilty And.....of course the Dems blew it....AGAIN Weren’t we all told the senators are supposed to be present and in their seats? So why is little boy Josh Hawley sitting in the balcony with his feet up on the furniture? Why is Ted Cruz wandering in and out? Why no witnesses? Why not depose the defendant? How are the defendant’s lawyers allowed to NOT answer questions? And where is John Roberts????
HammerTime (Canada)
David Frum, former George Bush speech writer said it best in 2018... "If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.”
Keith Wheelock (Skillman, NJ)
In Stalin’s and Putin’s Russia, verdicts were decided before ‘trials’ commenced. Until recently, I never imagined that this could happen in the United States Senate. I admit that I am old fashioned. I still believe in the Constitution.
hm1342 (NC)
@Keith Wheelock: "In Stalin’s and Putin’s Russia, verdicts were decided before ‘trials’ commenced." That's the irony. All these years the media has been calling Trump a puppet of Putin and said Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. Now the media is acting like Pravda for the Democratic Party.
Lisa Kelly (San Jose, CA)
It’s clear that Trump was gleefully enjoying this insurrection and did nothing to stop it. Horrible!
Col Flagg (WY)
Guilty.
MTL (New York)
Sadly, our “nation’s political life as peaceful and committed to the rule of law” cannot happen without addressing the roots of our country’s ills: racism, severe income inequality, and the COVID-19 pandemic (which has heightened people’s fears and served as an incubator for pent up emotions). Conviction is the defining action necessary to reinstate rule of law under the Constitution of the United States of America. My heart breaks for our country; the one that I served, in uniform, for twenty years.
Fellow Patriot (MA)
How can Republican Senators use invalid criteria to not convict Trump? Trump was impeached while he was in office; impeaching a former official is constitutional if the crime was committed while in office; and the Senate does have jurisdiction. And yet, Trump's attorneys were allowed to present invalid arguments during their defense. In a normal jury trial, the judge will instruct the jury the basis for conviction, and the evidences that are permissible. But Republican Senators still argue they could not convict Trump on invalid basis. For example, Mich McConnell says the Senate lacks jurisdiction. Why is there not an equivalent of a judge for the impeachment trial to give jury instructions? Mitch McConnell's statement is telling: he said impeachment is “primarily a tool of removal” and thus he will not convict Trump. So to people like McConnell, the only thing justifies the means is the end. Since Trump is already out of office and cannot be removed, McConnell is giving him a free pass to incite domestic terrorism. Is this really the road GOP leaders/politicians are leading the country down to?
Dominique (Branchville)
The Republicans will show their true colors today when they fail to convict their former president. They will become the party of white supremacists, right wing terrorists, conspiracy believers, and QAnon.
Ben (Haifa)
Hear! Hear!. Well stated. I never imagined Republicans could be so frightened to save their own party from the fascist demagogue the US has had to put up with.
Debra (Chicago)
After the Trump years, we must conclude that Congress is NOT a co-equal branch of government. Congress has no power to subpoena government documents without judicial intervention. Congress has no power to compel witnesses, and has abdicated its responsibility to punish lying under oath. When the Capitol is attacked by the Executive branch, it has no means to defend itself or punish the leader of the attackers. Congress has built the gridlock, enabled minority rule, and refuses to change the rules of its own devising. Congress is shrinking from its own power, and that is the power vacuum at the center of the authoritarian power grab. Since Congress is subordinate to executive and judiciary branches, why not have the Supreme Court rule on the constitutional question of its power to impeach a former President? Let the President challenge the impeachment ... why vote according to your opinion of constitutionality? But one imagines even a direct ruling would not deter Hawley and his ilk from saying they don't agree with the court. It's just a matter of time before the executive branch openly defies the court, while Congress fiddles.
Bill (San Francisco)
Oh, please ... The Times thought he was "guilty" before he was even inaugurated back in 2017, so you are hardly the credible, objective that you cling to be.
Ski bum (Colorado)
Once the political trial is over, the justice system needs to turn to criminal prosecution of trump and his allies. After all, the end game is time in jail behind bars.
Virginia Baker (Wilmington, NC)
I guess he just shot (the) US in the middle of 5th Avenue!
Frederick (Portland OR)
The impeachment managers should call a witness: GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy to discuss his heated phone call he had with Trump the middle of insurrection. Trump refused to call off the rioters!! Mind boggling!
Jane K (Northern California)
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. C’mon, Republican Senators, don’t be so gullible. You know better.
John Taylor (New York)
Mitch McConnell has just stated he will vote to acquit trump. That is not gullible. That is openly wicked and every republican who follows will also be openly wicked. Acquitting the first nefarious reprobate to be president of the United States is beyond the pale.
Matt L (Madison, WI)
This is fact, not opinion. The article is in the wrong section.
susan (nyc)
Matt L - Look at the top of this article. It is in the "Opinion" section of the Times.
samuel (charlotte)
How many times can the NY Times Editorial Board be wrong? I have lost count.
MickNamVet (Philadelphia, PA)
Trump's attorneys presented one of the most slipshod defenses I've ever seen. False generalizations, non-sequiturs, begging the question, ad hominem attacks all over the place-- Theirs was more a Jerry Springer-like reality show presentation than a legal defense. And of course, the ad hominem attacks aimed at the prosecution was a sure giveaway that they had no actual legitimate defense going, even given the unprecedented and outrageous "special advice" from GOP jurors Cruz and Graham. The GOP senate is hell bent on paving the way for a return of Trump, and the destruction of our constitution and democracy. Henceforth, they will be known as "The Sedition Party," making fully public their betrayal of our country.
MCL (Eliot, Me)
Everyone knows he's guilty but republicans have no backbone. They are a sad collection of cowards.
Ben Franken (The Netherlands)
It can’t be honored enough -democracy’s fragility and...strength at stake - that utmost importance of this public trial ought to be awaken awareness for an amazing fullness of democracy . It’s an extraordinary example... for nations e.g.at the european continent .
J (Middle West)
To those Republicans who will not break from the herd and vote to convict: You are cowards all. Traitors few. Patriots none.
Larry (Bay Shore, NY)
The case against Donald Trump is so overwhelming, damning, and irrefutable, that it's virtually certain the Senate will acquit.
Jlaw (California)
The Republican Party is dead.
Charles Kilo (Portland, Oregon)
It is frustrating that the R senators won’t vote to hold Trump accountable - few profiles in courage there (there are a few thankfully). However, almost never will a senator or representative vote in impeachment against someone in their party no matter how egregious because in doing so, they are voting against their party and themselves. For an R senator to vote against Trump says clearly that they personally were wrong these past 4 years and they their party was wrong and misaligned. That is just too much honesty for most, and too damning for person and party. In this situation, the R’s have also been building toward this for decades - Nixon, Gingrich, Hannity, Fox, etc. So an affirmative impeachment vote affirms and shines a light on all of that history, on the behavior, on their personal role in dragging our democracy into this mess that fundamentally threatens our democracy.
Philby (Mount Beauty, Australia)
OK, here's how it plays out. Republicans, having mustered votes behind the scenes - on the quiet, so as not to provoke right wing outrage (and accompanying physical threats) prior to the vote, will vote with Democrats to impeach Trump. Republicans will take some heat for voting for the conviction. However, they have calculated this heat to be much lesser than it would be later had they cleared a newly emboldened Trump, more boastful and arrogant than ever and hell bent on revenge and creating havoc in the GOP.
Venugopal (India)
Whatever NYT writes the vote will acquit Trump. Republicans are hell bent on letting Trump not being punished for the most heinous crime a head of a state could have ever done ie goading a loyal mob to attack the temple of democracy while in session and with express intention to harm those inside.America now shows all the signs of a weak nation. The bar has fallen so low that it will take an uphill task to bring back the glory she once enjoyed. Trump has managed to inflict a deep wound into the fabric of American society which will take a long time to heal.
LAP (New York)
Call all the witnesses that need to be called even if the trial goes on for months and months.
Gary Ward (Durham, NC)
We don’t hold the President accountable as we would others. Anyone else who had incited violence in the nexus of it occurring would be held accountable. If there was a BLM protestor calling for his/her followers to fight like hell then his followers attacked a government institution, he or she would be charged. We need higher standards for a President not lower.
OPOP (SEARSMONT)
I am curious that the absence of several senators from Thursday's session does not disqualify their ability to uphold their sworn duty as jurors and that their votes should be denied. If that is true then the number of votes to convict would only be 2/3 of the remaining number of qualified jurors. I would love the irony of that.
Rachel Berko (Cambridge, MA)
Trump’s defense is a direct reflection of the gaslighting he has unleashed on Americans from the beginning. That his presidency ended this way is no surprise. It is up to Republicans to break with Trumpism, but it is also unsurprising that they put control over country, as Trumpism is the logical conclusion of their years long efforts to cling to power at all costs, including democracy.
Michael (Copenhagen)
Michael | Copenhagen The majority of Republican representatives and senators seem firmly unwilling to sacrifice their jobs, and their standing with Trump, and their loyalty to their party---for the truth, for their country and their democracy. Why not? What are their real reasons? Are they afraid to lose their prestigious jobs? Afraid to lose their lives? Afraid to lose their friendship with Trump? What is it? Tell us! Or is it because of their hatred or disdain for the democrats is so great, that instead of actually physically fighting their political opponents, they let an angry mob do it for them? In other words, they are in fact complicit if they refuse to stand up for the truth, and stand against Donald Trump's actions. Because on one very *low* level, it really looks like Trump put a hit out on Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi, and any other government official that opposed him, when he incited the Mob. Whose willing to sacrifice their jobs, or their reputations, or even their lives, for the sake of true democracy and true freedom?
Katalina (Austin, TX)
Yes, Trump is guilty and yet those Republican senators who were present listening to the trial to impeach Trump who doodled, nodded off, were absent, and otherwise were not giving their full attention to the dramatic occurrence are not public servants to the common good, as the editorial states, but "party functionaries serving tribal interests." Those like Cruz and Hawley and their entitled educational backgrounds and now perhaps their money do not represent the savage mob. Seemingly. But they DO represent the savage mob. Good grief! The disconnect between what we know as citizens who have been witness to the whole sordid Trump tenure ending with this tragicomedy of the deadly and costly insurrection is great. Like a great storm that passed through the Capitol, Trump's wrath has created great damage. Yes, that is heartbreaking for us. Now, when we are faced with such facts presented in such an honorable way as we approach a vote, if Trump is acquitted in this court of constitutional law, we must hope for the criminal courts to avenge us.
Marcus (Portland, OR)
The defense has made a point of noting that the rioters made up just a fraction of the folks who went to see Trump’s speech that day. That may be. It may also be a micro-view of the larger picture nationwide, namely that a majority of Republicans are not that much on board with Trump after all, they would actually prefer being part of the Republican party they once knew. Unfortunately, those who make the loudest noise get the most attention, so the Republican Senators who are afraid of angering “the base” contort themselves at times like this to give Trump yet another pass. My hope is that after having shot themselves in the foot so often they will be unable to stand for re-election, and all of this will start to fade like a nightmare meeting a dawning new day.
Olivia (New York, NY)
Excellent editorial. I would like to add that the new lead defense lawyer, Mr. Van der Veen, is nasty, calling people names, and, in fact, lying about several points raised. This should not be about an individual, Mr. Trump; this should be about whether our democracy can survive an aquittal. To be sure, if Trump remains head of the Republican Party, or as I all it, the GOP/Trump cult, there will be continued attacks on our system of government, and all Republicans will be responsible for the ignominious end of our great nation.
nikolai burlakoff (ossining, ny)
While Trump's public behavior was not an example of probity, neither is it impeachable. Democrats, in their totalitarian quest to eliminate any political view differing from their own, are the real threat. Everything that Trump did was done before him by Democrats when they were unhappy with election results. The election controversy was not "caused" by Trump or his supporters but by a creaky and antiquated election system which does not allow international observers to observe it. Is Biden our president? Yes. Was he elected legally? Yes. Was there wholesale fraud committed in terms of the rules for voting developed for this election? Yes. A candidate whose popularity among voters rises almost by ten percent from the previous election, cannot lose honestly.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@nikolai burlakoff “Democrats in their totalitarian quest” statement is amusing if not laughable. In the past decades when Democrats had the Presidency how many called or incited supporters to “stop the steal” or put out a subtle hint about the VP not not doing his job. Barak Obama graciously welcomed Trump to the White House. Not quite hanging onto the office as a totalitarian would. Trump attempted to become our authoritarian. Lastly, the screes of voter fraud have been discounted by “red” state officials. It has been stated by our Justice Department there was no fraud. So, Biden won fairly and the despot Trump lost-by a sizable margin.
Iowaman (Iowa)
Of course he's guilty. Even the Republicans know that, hence their total focus on the spurious claim of constitutional issues. It gives them the cover they need to elude responsibility to take action. McConnell is the case in point. He knows Trump is guilty. He has said he believes Trump did impeachable things. He knows he should be impeached, yet he votes to declare the proceedings unconstitutional. He just announced he would vote to acquit because as he said, he doesn't think it's constitutional to convict a President who's out of office. By the way, how do you think the Republicans will act if the same situation occurs with a Democrat as President? You might use the actions they took with Obama's Garland selection for the Supreme Court and how they then acted when it came time for Trumps third nomination to the Court. Total hypocrisy. It's all a cover so he doesn't have to vote for impeachment. It shows, as is true of so many in the Republican party, loyalty to the Party outweighs ANY other loyalty he has. Reminds me of the Communist party in Russia and China. The party comes first.
sg (seattle)
This country is going to be destroyed in 4 years. We have a small reprieve now but until something is done to this misinformation machine which are scrambling the minds of our citizens it's going to be our downfall. The next election will see trump or worse be elected then the end of the USA will occur. That scenario came precariously close on Jan 6. I believe they will succeed the next time around. I was a pretty positive person before trump was elected. I thought that most people were inherently good and would end up doing the right thing in the end. How wrong I was. My whole belief system is shattered.
Incorporeal Being (here)
So sorry, SG. But 3-5 percent of the population is made up of sociopaths, defective people who have no conscience. They care only about themselves, and feel no empathy, guilt, or remorse. It certainly appears that many of those sociopaths are in Republican leadership.
Citizen 0809 (Kapulena, HI)
Everyone does realize that trump ran in 2020 with no platform, right? There is no future for the GQP. trumpism will ultimately fail. Conservatives who have any common sense, morals, and intelligence have already moved away from trumpism. It seems to me that classic GOP with its emphasis on fiscal restraint, personal morality and responsibility, and rule of law and the Constitution is not what the GQP represents. I personally lean to the left but certainly can find common ground with conservatives on many issues. However, the GQP aka trumpism is not conservative and does not hold or promote conservative values. The true RINOs -- republican in name only -- are those who align with the GQP and trumpism. Does trumpism emphasize fiscal restraint, personal morality and responsibility, and the rule of law? They can claim they do but the evidence is to the contrary. So I urge the rank and file conservatives and those in leadership who claim to be conservatives to find a new path. Call trumpism what it is and move your party closer to the center. The US needs at least 2 strong parties which share a mostly common vision for the greater good.
Rick Hoff (Lake Como PA)
It is eye opening to see the short sidedness and shallow excuses some of the GOP senators are clinging to. To see the house team lay out an intelligent and logical train of events and summarize the potential for future damage by not convicting Trump in contrast to the defense presented was something every citizen needed to see. And not the interpretation of the talking heads, the actual proceedings. And how did these senators manage to get elected? Sad. Any senator voting to acquit Trump should never get another vote when hey again run for office.
Gennady (Rhinebeck)
Since when the NYTiimes tries court cases? If you lose this one, will you accept the defeat?
rbbrittain (Little Rock, AR)
The Senate may call itself a "Court of Impeachment" during the trial but it's NOT your ordinary court, and impeachment trials are NOT your ordinary trial. The jurors (Senators) are not only biased, but in THIS trial they're also the accused's victims. The process works much like a criminal prosecution (impeachment itself is merely an indictment); but the trial is NOT subject to the criminal evidentiary standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt", but rather the lesser civil standard of "preponderance of the evidence" (and even that includes political considerations, normally irrelevant but the impeachment process itself is "POLITICAL", all caps per Alexander Hamilton himself). Criminal juries MUST be unanimous (the handful of state exceptions were finally held unconstitutional by SCOTUS last year in Ramos v. Louisiana), but not the Senate. Criminal penalties are normally fines, imprisonment, and sometimes death; conviction on impeachment has only two penalties, the more common of which is unavailable in this trial, and the other too controversial for almost half the jurors (grounds for exclusion or removal from a death penalty jury). And double jeopardy does NOT prevent the impeached (whether acquitted OR convicted) from being brought before Federal AND state criminal courts (that thanks to the recently reaffirmed "separate sovereigns" doctrine even though NYS rejects it) to be tried all over again for the same crime; it might not even prevent yet another Trump impeachment.
CA John (Grass Valley, CA)
Never. We will remember the Republican quislings, Cruz, Rubio, et. al. Hey, we might even get the chance to impeach one of them.
Mark (OC CA)
When you let people - mostly lawyers - "interpret" and twist, fold, spindle and mutilate the obvious meaning of words such as "The powers not granted to the United States...." to mean that such powers ARE granted to the United States (congress), and the congress then abdicates the power to make law - which it may not delegate; you will not find a power to delegate anywhere in the constitution - and we ACCEPT and encourage this.... And you act all surprised when this is the end result. A dismissal of lawful norms as if they don't matter...because you - on both sides - have shown that you don't think it matters. If you want too bring the country back from the brink, go reread the text of the Constitution. Then abide by it. If you think it needs to change, then propose the amendment. If you can't get the requisite number of states (thereby population) on your side, then you're wrong. Don't babble to me about the rule of law when you unceasingly advocate ignoring the most basic, and supreme, law of the land. Spare me your "righteous" indignation, because you have no clothes.
Paul O (NYC)
Clearly this insurrection will happen again, and probably more effectively. It's fascinating – as disheartening as it is – to see how it unfolds from the inside, to see how sense and reason and decency get switched off – for whatever "reasons." There may be no saving this country from becoming a fascist state.
gailweis (new jersey)
The Republican Senators who vote to acquit are selling their souls to the Devil. I hope their children and grandchildren think it was worth it.
Eitan (Israel)
Like the sociopathic scoundrel he is and always was, Trump is far too slippery for any conventional attempt at holding him accountable. He said it himself from the beginning, and ironically, through it all, it's the only truth he ever spoke: "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?...It's, like, incredible." (January 2016)
Livingston (Kingston, NY)
How can self-proclaimed Originalists of any integrity at all NOT condemn fmr prez Trump for the insurrection he provoked against the Capitol? After this, their own convictions and claims to nativity of country and constitution are totally bankrupt, period.
Norina Lundy (Brooklyn New York)
Perhaps the only card left to play would be former VP Pence to tell of his harrowing tale while under siege and his public denouncement of Donald J Truno. But how would that fare with the Evangelist right who is really running the show?
ruintheholidays (Yardley Pa)
Holy Cow! Trump's attorney could not say that Trump lost the election. Jiminy Crickets! Until Trump's followers are told the truth, that Biden won the election, this country will not come together.
EC M.D. (Poway, California)
The only smoking gun that might push Republicans to vote to convict would be testimony from William Barr or his successor to that Trump had discussions with the DOJ to call for martial law to take over the government and overturn the results of the election. Since Trump no longer has Presidential privilege the opportunity is there.
Jane (Boston)
Trump Is Way Guilty. (Fixed it)
Rob (Vernon, B.C.)
"There’s no doubt who must be held responsible for attacking the Capitol and trying to overturn the results of the election." Who MUST be held responsible. Must? By whom? Little green men on Mars? The country that editors of the New York Times seem to believe they live in is just a fantasy. Do you not understand? There is no America where fairness, integrity and honor reign supreme. I'm not joking. This isn't hyperbole. The United States is out of control. Accept the facts. 74 million of your citizens just tried, and very nearly succeeded, in reelecting a wholly undeserving man to the presidency. Not only were Donald Trump's qualifications for the job non-existent in 2016, he also ran a disastrous, gaffe and scandal filled campaign. He won anyway. After 4 years of incompetence, record staff turnover, never-ending scandal and an utterly botched effort to contain a deadly pandemic, He increased his vote tally by 13 million! Republican politicians have had many opportunities to remove this incompetent and dangerous man from the presidency, but they steadfastly refuse to act. Using a word like "must" assumes an America that does not exist. Look around. Be honest.
just Robert (North Carolina)
'Methodical and meticulous' is not what GOP Senators are seeking. They are looking for an excuse to let Trump and their party off the hook for the violence they inspired in their followers. The very fact that they are looking for this excuse tells us that they still a bet and condone the violence of those who attacked the Capitol and the President they enabled and who inspired the violence. The real fraud against the American people here was not the election in which so many put their lives at risk to perform, butt the white wash of the GOP wich would aid condone another attack from their followers.
Mimie McCarley (Charlotte)
It is hard for a layperson to understand how anyone could have followed the impeachment proceedings and not concede that Trump is guilty as charged. The new information coming out this evening regarding Trump’s call with Kevin McCarthy is especially damning. It appears that the Republican Senators who will not vote to convict must think the citizens of our country are incredibly stupid or worse. It’s just pathetic. Thank you NYTs Editorial Board for this excellent article.
DJM (New Jersey)
I’m tired of the ideas put forth that somehow the ex president is an anomaly in the Republican Party, these Senators embrace and promote his thoughts and actions, they are of him, they want to see the death of democracy and look forward to a kleptocracy where they can all enrice themselves under autocratic rule, please NYTs stop giving these representatives the benefit of a doubt.
hschmelz (hamburg)
Thr GOP are tearing themselves apart from within. Neither part of the result will have any meaningfull impact on reality. The sober minded ones will run as independents or join the Democrats. The deplorables will probably attempt a coup again. In the end, demogaphy will sort this battle out.
Not Forgetting Ever (Pa)
I’m sick knowing senate and house republicans who’ve supported and cheered on Trump and his mobs are collecting huge salaries. They should lose their paychecks for the dirty work done for Trump by allowing him to destroy our country. Somebody has to be held accountable for what they have done to us!
Dominique (Manhattan N’y)
honestly does anyone republicans or not need more informations ? I read foreign press from all political spectrum , and they do not understand how a country like America can even entertain the idea that trump is not guilty of inciting a coup to the capitol and even guilty for his leadership for the murders of the 5 police officers that day ! time to admit hat this is who we are and where we are , this vote early today will determine the futur of the nation and mostly their politicians, SAD !!!
John Dell (Virginia)
Death Dealing Science Denying Xenophobic Homophobic Trump Republicans sadly including the Senate Republican Caucus as a whole simply don't care enough about democracy in America. To them it is all a game of personal power and money played on a field of mass propaganda dominated by Murdoch's FOX with other invested billionaires like the Mercers and Koch brothers working in close support. They are too far down the rabbit hole to climb out now; they are ALL IN. 500,000 DEAD AMERICANS call from the grave for a reckoning with these forces of 21st Century fascism.
Peggy Sherman (Wisconsin)
At the very least the Republican party is the party of sad slow learners. At the most, they have elevated stupidity to a whole new level. After watching Trump's brazen disloyalty for four years, they still will vote to acquit him of his most egregious disloyalty-throwing his loyal vice-president to a howling mob. In my state, after mounds of scientific evidence that masks mitigate Covid, Republicans here continue to lobby to get rid of them. Their willful refusal to accept facts and reality is irreparably damaging our country.
Stevie1026 (Barrington, NJ)
Trump introduced Republicans to the best sex they ever had. The problem is, they are so arrogant, they think they can control this girlfriend/boyfriend. In the end, s/he will turn into a stalker, showing up at kids’ birthday parties unannounced and sleeping on their stoop. Crazy exes are wild fun when you are in the relationship, but it never ends well, nor is it worth it in the long run.
Hellen (NJ)
The only people guilty are the ones who attacked the capitol. They are not children and they made clear choices even before Trump made his speech. What happened to all that personal responsibility White Americans like to lecture Black Americans about? Blaming the Devil, Trump or Twinkies is just a way of deflecting blame from violent White Supremacists who have plagued this country for centuries. Finding Trump guilty won't change a thing, it will just give cover to these violent criminals who will once again face little to no consequences for their actions.
Virginia (Cape Cod, MA)
Trump IS guilty. Republicans are guiltier.
JL (Connecticut)
The important work of Congress has been done; the record has been made. Whether Republicans vote to convict says nothing more about Trump; it only says something about those Republicans specifically and the Republican party generally. The 'consequence' they ponder; barring and old man from running another stupid, futile, pathetic campaign - it's pretty close to nothing. As for Trump, a real court of law will be asked to impose a real, criminal punishment for his crimes. A real court will hew to the facts and law as a legislature, being political, is incapable of.
Ulysses (Lost in Seattle)
Trump is not guilty of what the impeachment charges -- insurrection. The actual "guilt" belongs to Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. If we are to believe the House Managers, it was obvious to all, including Pelosi and McConnell, that this protest had potential to become a riot. Yet Pelosi and McConnell (and DC's Mayor) failed to bring in enough police and National Guard troops to stop the rioters from entering the Capital. The impeachment is a show trial. It reminds me of the media's praising of Cuomo, despite the fact that we all knew long ago what he in fact did with those old people. Eventually, the truth will out.
Peters (Texas)
McConnell is mistaken to think that he can control the Republican future by disavowing Trumps’s actions but not removing him from politics. Trump is motivated by money and power not by censure. Trump will continue to demolish the Republican Party by campaigning for 2024 with the intention of riding it up until the last moment. McConnell is a wily man. But he was wrong before, and he is wrong once again in taking no action.
David S. (Texas)
I apologize. I haven't read this whole piece. I'm tired. I'm disappointed, disillusioned. I stopped with one perfect succinct sentence. I promise I'll come back and finish. "A vote for impunity is an act of complicity." It's so sad that this is exactly what is going to happen and there is nothing we can do.
CC (San Francisco)
I wish I felt encouraged by this tour de force. I don't, because this very paper also published an article that demonstrates when it comes to Trump, what is broadcasted to half the country is a different reality: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/business/media/cable-news-impeachment-trial.html Tell me what will change *that*, and I might start hoping agia.
G.A. (brooklyn)
The so called conservatives hate towards liberals is so much they rather have a dictatorship, or have the White House controlled by The Kremlin. I hope that when a shoe is on the other foot, I can choose Nation over political party.
Wiley Cousins (Finland)
This is simply white entitlement being followed down its obvious path. For these Republican Senators - along with their entitled benefactors - the rule of law never mattered. Fairness was always for suckers. They have built a perfect system of bribery and cheating; of moving goal posts and putting horse shoes in the boxing gloves. George W. Bush at Yale? Seriously? Trump did what they have always done, but did it to the hilt. He took the gloves off and removed the pretense. To convict Trump would convict them all. Good luck with that. To watch people of color state the case for the prosecution.....to a throng of bored, smug and complicit Senators has the very same DNA of those sham trials we used to see in 1960's Mississippi and Alabama.
Ed (Washington DC)
Mr. Trump tried relentlessly to stay in office by any means necessary - fraudulent claims of fraud, coercion of election officials, twisting the arms of his VP and and Republican Governors, Senators and elected officials to change lawful votes, and inciting a mob to overthrow Congress on the day it certified the vote. For these actions, America should convict him in this impeachment proceeding, and he deserves to be permanently barred from ever holding another elected office. To all Republican Senators who doodled or read reports during the trial: regardless of how you vote tomorrow as a juror in this trial, you deserve to be voted out of office for your shameful actions. Senator Sasse spoke the truth when he said this week that "politics is not about the weird worship of one dude.” Weird worship....Sen. Sasse sure got that right.
M. M. L. (Netherlands)
Indeed the Republican senators have allowed themselves to be taken hostage by the Maga-ites. Don’t they see that all they need to do is stand together and push back? If they are too cowardly to face Trump supporters now and tell them the plain truth namely “your guy lost and then lied about it”, what will they be facing in the future? Mobs of enraged maga-ites threatening them with flags, hockey sticks, mace and worse at home and at work every time they go against their “leader”? Is this what they want? Then what is the point in being in congress? To be a servile yay sayer to Trump? Surely there are better jobs out there.
ARETE’ (TEJAS)
I will say without explanation that #45 is unequivocally guilty of Sedition as noted by the Democratic House and he should be convicted as such because (A), he hung his own VP out to dry in the Capital insurgency. (B), he pledged by oath to Stand up for the Constitution and our Democracy against all threats.
Nick (NYC)
Every Republican senator who votes for acquittal must never, EVER live down that vote. Make sure they never forget their ignominy. Ruin their lives. Make them PAY.
RJ (Brooklyn)
The problem is that anyone reading the impeachment coverage in the NYT would assume that there is no real evidence to find Trump guilty because the news coverage in this newspaper informs readers that both sides statements have equal weight and no one can know which is true, although this newspaper did go out on a limb and report as fact that Trump's lawyers gave a spirited defense. In other words, anyone who wanted to discredit the Editorial Board's opinion that "Trump is Guilty" only has to point to all the news story in this very newspaper. If you want to write editorials like this without looking like fools, you should tell your reporters to start differentiating between truth and lies in their stories instead of writing the typical NYT news stories that inform your readers that both sides' statements should be given equal weight as no one - and certainly not a NYT journalist who covers the story every day - can ever know what is true and what is not. Given the reporting the journalists at the NYT have done to always give equal weight to the lies of the Republicans to help Republicans discredit actual facts, why should anyone believe this editorial? Do you assume your readers saw the impeachment trial themselves and read real journalism elsewhere instead of reading the NYT news coverage that stressed over and over again that there is no truth, just a difference of opinion?
Opinioned! (NYC)
Most Republican Senators are also guilty. On the next Capitol attack by Republican terrorists, they now have a bigger chance of succeeding if CIA analysis of all coupd’états staged around the world is to be believed — the analysis says that if the mastermind of the first attempt is neither jailed nor executed, the second attempt most likely succeeds. And finally, the Republicans will rejoice in the upcoming totalitarianism which they will brand as democracy.
Lilly (New Hampshire)
We all know he’s guilty.
Rpasea (Hong Kong)
The only positive result from a likely acquittal is the potential for destroying the Republican Party. The likes of Hawley, Cruz and Graham belong in a White Nationalist Party. Or a revival of the Know Nothing Party. Banish them to the wilderness.
Jonathan Smoots (Milwaukee, Wi)
It wasn't his speech on 1/6, it was MONTHS of propagating the BIG LIE.
Joan Bee (Seattle)
The only component missing from the docudrama that the ex-president enacted in his White House rally on 1/6, was a violin as in "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."
TomG (Philadelphia)
In this piece it is suggested that there might be a way to reclaim the Republican Party from the Magaverse (interesting term). I don’t believe there’s any possibility of that. The party is too far gone down the path of fascism. It is utterly irredeemable.
Scott Glancy (San Luis Obispo, CA)
I understand we have a spineless, selfish, egocentric group of Republican representatives who fear the mighty trump. But, shouldn’t they at least have the brains to understand trump has been castrated by the loss of his bully pulpit Twitter and will no longer wield the power and influence he once had? Common sense is very uncommon in the Republican world.
Mark (DC)
Do Trump's attorneys think “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th … Be there, will be wild!” was meant by Trump to read: “Big demonstration in D.C. on January 6th … Be there, will be peaceful!” What, exactly, did Trump mean by a "wild protest"?
BorisRoberts (Santa Maria, CA)
Instead of trying to influence the news, by presenting every single detail you can think of in a negative light, and just report the news . Like you used to, when you were a newspaper, and just reported things.
R Alexander (Dover, Delaware)
AGREE 100 percent with your strong, reasonable, unassailable editorial! Thank you all for your considered opinion and helpful analysis of the bottom line after (too much talk) and NOT enough THINKING by Some. (eg, Mr. Vanderveen should RETIRE!) What will the (sometimes "spineless" Republican Senators) DO today to show that they have FAIRLY considered the evidence?
Joseph (Gainesville)
If they voted for him, the biggest questions in our minds, is why? Not only in the USA but world wants to know. We’re talking billions of people in the whole world can’t be wrong. Given his ineptitude, his unqualified leadership, lack of empathy, misogyny, racism, greediness, and let’s be honest here, lack of leadership qualities, they voted for him? We’re they thought they were watching the Apprentice? Why did they vote and by the same token we should then dispute every red state that voted that changed the laws for voting —- look it up. But back to the why? Do you or these 74million people would follow an insane man over a cliff? He was and is like Jim Jones, he created a cult and spoke to the people who believed everything he said. So why? Why did you or others voted for him? If you did. What was the purpose? Was it in spite against those who berated him? A game? To get even? To become as “rich and successful” as him? How can you reach 74 million people when all the evidence points to lunacy, unreality, falsehood, cruelty, despair, poverty, and failed expectations? Did you get rich? And if you did, who got shafted? Did these 74 million people got a better life with both the Republican Party in power for the past year? I Doubt it. We have one thing in common, we are sadly with great sorrow, thankful for the pandemic because it opened our eyes to his mediocrity and the other 80 million people of this nation said enough. The world was thankful. I am thankful.
sjs (Bridgeport, CT)
"No reasonable person" Well, that leaves out trump's followers
Mikem (Highland Park)
The Republican party has proven itself to be a clear and present danger to the USA. It must be broken up and banned. They are well on their way to becoming our Hezbollah.
Ian Maitland (Minneapolis)
"Mr. Trump’s attorneys didn’t bother with a coherent defense. Their presentation was a slipshod, meandering, at times incomprehensible exercise in deflection and denial." That is a disgraceful lie. I listened carefully to almost all the defense's presentations, and they were all very effective and often devastating. How could you get it so wrong? This was a legal proceeding, and Trump's counsel offered constitutional arguments, something the New York Times doesn't even pretend to do. In fact, the Times's dismissal of the defense's performance is a cloak to hide its failure to do its homework. I did not catch the as much of the House managers' case, but what I heard was amateur hours stuff. I winced so much I had to quit. The Times should try reading the Constitution sometime. One thing the Times would learn is that the Senate has no constitutional authority to try a private citizen, which is what Trump has been since President Biden's inauguration. Every ninth grader will quickly see that.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@Ian Maitland Learned constitutional scholars will disagree with your entire comment.
DaveF (Moses Lake, WA)
I agree with the editorial board 100%. Other words, somebody had a bad day. Hint, he is quite pompous.
jck (nj)
If the impeachment hearing was a trial with a jury, each of the Times Editorial Board members would be dismissed as jurors for cause because of their political bias.
SN (Philadelphia)
“The Republican Party hopes to serve as something more than a vehicle for a toxic cult of personality.” They don’t. They welcome the opportunity. They embrace the Trump toxin. It sustains them. It’s been clear for some time that republicans do not want a functioning democracy. They prefer a dictator.
S (CA)
It is a dark day for America when the GOP senators choose to not hold Trump accountable for the deaths and chaos wreaked upon the capitol. Cowering before a bully, bigot, liar and his supporters. Choosing to mislead their supporters into thinking that our democracy has failed to represent the will of the people.
William O, Beeman (Minneapolis, MN)
Of course Trump is guilty, and his defense team was utterly, scandalously incompetent. Their testimony was laughable--full of malapropisms, lies, and flimflammery. It was a disgrace. But we all know that this makes no difference, because the despicable Republicans in the Senate refuse to listen to evan the most blatantly obvious evidence of Trump's instigation of this tragedy--an event that will live in infamy for all time. The Senators who shirk their duty should have their names plastered on a wall of shame. Their lack of conscience is truly deplorable. But where is the moral authority who can shame them properly. Clearly they are only listening to the likes of the rabble who attacked the Capitol--many of whom, in the greatest irony, DIDN'T EVEN VOTE IN 2020!
Buddy (Pa)
Lets make one thing clear. The senate will never convict. This mess of a man will haunt Americans until he is cold . To think that ANY republican will do the right thing is a pipe dream. They are cowards. The best we can do is beat them a the ballot box every chance we get.
DBR (Los Angeles)
The future: Republicans will hold increasingly angry and violent primaries against each other at local, state and national levels, until primaries become impossible and backroom deals will determine candidates who will run and incite violence against the opposing parties. These backroom deals will exclude persons of color, Jewish and Muslim persons, Asians and Hispanics; everyone except white people. This is not a distant future, it is tomorrow.
Justin (Seattle)
Jamie Raskin, his heart no doubt still bleeding from the loss of his son, loved his country enough to work night and day to make a devastating case against the greatest existential threat that country has faced in the past 150 years. And all that several Republican senators could do was doodle on paper. Does the name Nero sound familiar?
Kathy (SF)
@Justin The Republicans are amoral, shameless, inhumane, greedy monsters. They become Republicans because the party is a haven for such people. It's all by choice. That is the standard they have for themselves and their colleagues. Simply put, they like to hurt people for profit. People vote for them because they promise to make others suffer, whether they are migrants, wildlife in areas they want to conquer, or women who don't want to be pregnant. The cruelty is the point. I can't imagine being surrounded by such horrible people. Where I work, we are held to a standards of behavior. We can't even see the Republicans from where we stand because we are normal people with reasonable standards of decency.
Virginia (Cape Cod, MA)
@Justin The name Benedict Arnold comes to mind.
Incidentalist (Danbury CT)
@Justin Absolutely Justin, this is the diseased, corrupted end of the Julio-Claudian (the last 75 years of Conservativism) line in the form of Nero... Trump and his seditious zombies think it's the dawn of the Imperial age (like post 1945), but its some 60 years later and this is Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.
Mike J (Orange County)
The republican senate is not the home of the brave. Unfortunately, we have cowards at the helm. I just don't understand it.
Lilly (New Hampshire)
Everyone in the entire world knows he’s guilty. Everyone. Everyone in the entire world knows.
Anna Gibson (Palm Coast FL)
Trump IS GUILTY! Americans know this very well! I absolutely LOVE that there is hysteria surrounding calling one witness on this supposed last day of the Impeachment Trial! Laughable Hysteria on the GQP's side! LOVE the fear of revealing "more Truth & Fact!"
Carol B. Russell (Shelter Island, NY)
The most obvious consequence of the GOP senators who do not vote to convict Trump : that now that these senators have acquitted Trump the consequence of this cowardly act would be that : they have joined Trump in this obvious act of insurrection and that they are now and forever a part and party to Trump ; to his cronies; and to the insurrectionists ; These GOP Senators may not realize it yet; but they will soon realize that they have doomed the rest of their lives to being servile to Trump and his criminal cronies.
Tricia V (Boise)
A vote for impunity is an act of complicity. Indeed! It is astonishing that these GOP senators appear to be truly unable to see that their abdication of duty to be impartial jurors will not benefit their party but instead accelerate its decline.
Bocephus (Houston, TX)
Trump has been called a liar, a cheat, a philanderer and amoral among other things. I don't think I ever heard him called human. Is there a test for determining humanness? Maybe we can add a constitutional amendment stipulating that you have to be human to be president. Oh, what's the use. The Supreme Court would probably rule that non-humans (like corporations) are people, too.
Sharon Charles Haznedar🧿 (New York)
Republicans and Trump fear the Other. The potential rise of any Other; those outside their twisted racist norm, terrifies them. This impeachment process is for the Other.Us.
Pat Baker (Boston)
I watched a lecture the other day about the worst Supreme Court decisions, one of them was Bush v. Gore. What struck me is that we remember the horrible choices these leaders made and discuss them 150 years later. I think that will be true of this Congress. In 25-30 years when most of them are dead, students will look at this event and wonder how they could have possibly aligned with Trump. He could be a case study in psychology, how a single person brainwashed so many ordinary people.
Bee Clark (Houston)
If there is no means to hold a president accountable for his high crimes and misdemeanors, then the Constitution is no longer the foundation for American self-government.
Expat traveler (Valencia, Spain)
If we fail to hold him accountable he could do it again? Sadly, infuriatingly, we have heard this warning before. "He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again," Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told the Senate in his closing argument for the first Trump impeachment trial. "He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What's right matters even less, and decency matters not at all." Sadly, infuriatingly, the Senate GOP will again pretend that this is not reason to convict, reason to hold this man accountable.
ENuff (Vermont)
Ok. Yes. I agree. The rub here is the same rub I had with nyt opinion piece re $4.99 costco chickens. Insurrectionists likely eat $4.99 Costco chickens at a much higher rate than nyt readers. Both the former and the latter likely read the nyt at much lower rates than nyt readers. While the nyt does a great job preaching to their readers the $4.99 insurrectionists aren’t really reading or listening to the nyt. If anything I’m now curious as to the taste of a Costco chicken. Insurrection, still not so much. Nyt how do you suggest we proceed?
Larry M (Minnesota)
Leave it to Republicans to trivialize, pervert, undermine, and make a mockery of what the impeachment process is reserved for. They trivialized and perverted it by impeaching Bill Clinton over a lie about an affair, and now are undermining and mocking it in the most clear-cut case for the impeachment of a president in U.S. history. Unless at least 17 Republican senators do the right thing by voting to convict Donald Trump, there will be no doubt that the Republican Party has ceased being an honest defender of democracy and our Constitution.
James Mignola (NJ)
Yes, trump is guilty of this and many other impeachable and convictable offenses but, sadly, it's not going to happen. In 2022 there are 20 republican Senate seats up for re-election. Lisa Murkowski Alaska, John Boozman Arkansas, Marco Rubio Florida, Mike Crapo Idaho, Todd Young Indiana, Chuck Grassley Iowa, Jerry Moran Kansas, Rand Paul Kentucky, John Neely Kennedy Louisiana, Roy Blunt Missouri, Richard Burr North Carolina, John Hoeven North Dakota, Rob Portman Ohio, James Langford Oklahoma, Pat Toomy Pennsylvania, Tim Scott South Carolina, John Thune South Dakota, Mike Lee Utah, Ron Johnson Wisconsin. Not all are running for re-election and some others may drop out. Out of these 20 I figure maybe 6 could be defeated. That list includes Rand Paul because he is just so shameless and Marco Rubio because he could be primaryed and the seat delivered to the Democrats. North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the others. Anyway, it's worth keeping in mind and working on.
Marat1784 (CT)
Jurors? Conspirators in very serious crime: Lock them up.
Philby (Mount Beauty, Australia)
Republicans are quietly mustering votes behind the scenes to convict Trump - doing so publicly would only attract outrage on the right, along with physical threats. Trump will be convicted because Republicans have calculated that it is better to take the heat now, rather than later, as a failure to convict would find an even more boastful and arrogant Trump intent on wreaking revenge and havoc on the GOP.
Dirigo (Canada)
@Philby : I hope your right, but I'm not holding my breath.
Ronny (Fort Lauderdale)
WSJ editorial board has not published an opinion before the verdict. That's a tell because they know that those who vote against the impeachment will be on the wrong side of history
Tony Hartnett (Ireland)
'Of Mice and Men'. Let's see what Republican senators are made of, finally.
Curious Bird (Stepford, MA)
Thought experiment: what if a future Democratic president doesn’t like something that Congress is doing and complains bitterly to an eager, disgruntled army of young progressives, inviting floods of protestors to “rise up” and “demand change by any means necessary”? Gallows are erected, offending Senators burned in effigy. Are Republicans OK with several thousand armed, liberal “wokes” likewise storming the capitol? Of course not. It’s hard to imagine such a group getting away with half of what the MAGA crowd attempted that day, but still. If Trump gets away with this, it opens the floodgates for any future leader to deliberately stoke civic unrest, summon crowds, and weaponize them to intimidate whomever they want. Yikes.
Katrin (Wisconsin)
The GOP has two long years til midterms. Two long years of the drip, drip, drip of trials, investigations, and lawsuits. Two long years of revelations — connections between GOPers and far right extremists, for example, the attempted kidnapping and assassination of Michigan‘s governor. The trials surrounding the Build the Wall grift. Why are they not joining together to wash their hands and their party of all this malarkey?
Chimes (Miami)
The Democrats are entitled to call witnesses during this impeachment trial. I’ve heard that Kevin McCarthy had an expletive-laced phone call with his chief executive while the riot was proceeding. He was telling Trump to call off his thugs. Before this “trial” is over, I want to see Kevin McCarthy on the witness stand. I want to hear McCarthy tell us about that phone call. I want to hear from McCarthy about Trump’s statements to him during that call.
Civic Samurai (USA)
Donald Trump will be acquitted in the Senate despite a shabby defense team presenting clearly disprovable lies. Although infuriating, the reason is simple. Impeachment is a political act, not a legal one. For the moment, Trump holds sway over a majority of the GOP rank and file. Not enough Republican senators are willing to risk being primaried to stand up for truth and the constitution. But justice will be served on Donald Trump. He still faces criminal charges and lawsuits. My hope is that defeat in these cases will finally brand him in the eyes of his cult-like followers what he has always been: a loser.
Oldcontinenter (Paris)
I completely agree. I am just wondering what you mean by a “principled republican”.
Not My Potus Ever (VA)
The GOP senators will acquit. And that indicates, with passing day, the GOP is becoming more fascist, more anti-democratic and operates more outside the rule of law and common decency. The resistance to the GOP starts now and will continue into the 2022 mid-terms. There will be a reckoning.
Steven Batfay (Australia)
Trump defended by an "ambulance chaser" who then has the temerity to question a university lecturer in constitution law. The ultimate insult and irony.
nixrox03 (Midwest America)
There never was a question of a conviction. The 44-Q decided in favor of trump over a American democracy. Historical cowards and a disgrace to our nation.
RJ Joseph (CO)
If one would ever commit some heinous crime against humanity, one would only hope to have Senate Republicans as their jury.
Laurens Colette (Pretoria, South Africa)
Some of “the jurors”: Rand Paul, Kentucky, doodling, visibly turning back on video evidence, extended absence from chamber, passing notes to defense lawyers, maskless Rick Scott, Florida, inspecting map of Asia, reading magazine Mike Braun, Indiana, struggling to stay awake Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee, distracted Josh Hawley, Montana, watching the trial from gallery, ruffling through papers Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi, reading magazine Richard Burr, North Carolina, fetching milk and snacking Ted Cruz, Texas, rage tweeting about breast milk in the U.K., conferring with defense lawyers Mike Lee, Utah, conferring with defense lawyers Lindsey O. Graham, South Carolina, conferring with defense lawyers This is what a few minutes on the internet reveals. Should America’s paper of record not provide a more cogent report on the radical right’s disrespect of the supposed greatest deliberative body in the world.
Brett (New Haven CT)
A vote to convict is a vote for justice. A vote to acquit is a vote that “we hate Democrats!” Then Republicans will claim, “totally and completely exonerated.”
Lagardere (CT)
1. Why select a single arrow - one article of impeachment - when the quiveris full? Read the "Congressional Record - House" of December 18, 2019, pages H12197 and following. I lists 12 artciles of impeachment that could have been used a the first impeachement ,and again now. Add a thirteen's article: "Crime against Humanity." A Columbia University report of October 21 2020 is titled: "130,000 - 210,000 Avoidable Covid 19 Deaths and Counting - in the US." We are now at 450,000 - and counting. 2. Why a short "trial"? Without wirnesses? Without a jury? Is this a trial?
samp426 (Sarasota)
Any Republican not seeing the danger in letting Trump slide does not care about our country one bit! It’s ludicrous that we’re even having this discussion... Not Kazakhstan!!
Kerm (Wheatfields)
What if the Senate votes the other way, than the way you desire: "Trump Is Guilty" Why have the democrats held this 'trial' the way they have particularly no witness yet plenty of accusations. What about people taking responsibility for their own actions, if one said to take a long walk of a short bridge...would you claim another told you to and therefore is guilty of your mental actions... This whole trial is, has been a mockery of any semblance of a democracy in America as we all continue to redefine our country's ideals and where we are going forward. One other issue is when the Times will send a reporter to report on the actual actions by our congressional representatives in how their legislative policies are brought up to the floor for votes, who supports and who lobby's for their passage. The process. It would really give people a civic lesson and an understanding of the process of the actions of our representatives, and how things really work and are applied in our governing process. We don't need to be learning from social media how government really and actually works in America. Give it a try and you may just not need "Trump Is Guilty" before a vote has even taken place or a mockery has taken place in your democracy by both political parties.
Pdxtran (Minneapolis)
Ever since Reagan began the right wing's slow-motion destruction of the New Deal consensus, I have voted for only one Republican, the late Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield, as a way of thanking him for his positions on environmental issues and his opposition to Reagan's wars in Central America. Today's Republicans would probably call him a Communist. All the other members of the Greed-Oil-Puritanism Party have no better than vandals, chipping away at civil society and picking the pockets of the middle and working classes while waving flags and Bibles in their faces to distract them and bathing them in an unbroken stream of hate radio, hate television, and hate websites. Whether compromised or naive, Democratic opposition to this onslaught has been weak, and the Democratic leaders have even squelched some of their best fighters. And so we arrived at January 6, 2021.
Richard Hahn (Erie, PA)
As a psychologist, I have a clear familiarity with cases like Trump's. "If you fail to hold him accountable, it can happen again" is so true about people like him. They will never stop--they will even be energized to do worse by perceiving they are "exonerated"--until forced to stop through the rule of law. The evidence about this happening with Trump is already very clear (e.g., Trump's call to the Ukrainian president one day after he declared exoneration in the Mueller report). I belong to a group of behavioral health professionals, founded and lead by top people in the field (Yale, Harvard, etc.)--the World Mental Health Coalition--that has since early 2017 warned against Trump's dangerousness and has now called for conviction. Again, people in this field, including myself, know Trump's dangerous type of case very well. The tragic irony about him is his total self-absorption, caring nothing about anything or anybody but himself, but able to use celebrity status to con vulnerable people through the support of cowards and opportunists. His circle has been accurately compared to organized crime syndicates. Yes--he and others even cleverer (you know who) will be capable of further endangering this country without deterrent. Stacey Abrams and others like her have their work cut out for them to continue to promote political power through helping elect non-Republicans, to oppose this menace and protect a diverse, free U.S.A. Mr. Biden must openly help this effort.
MidtownATL (Atlanta)
There are millions of Americans who wish to overthrow the government of the United States of America. 1. This morphed from the innocuous views of "limited government" and libertarianism; into Reagan's "Government IS the problem"; then into Steve Bannon's "deconstruction of the administrative state"; and most recently into the Insurrection of January 6. 2. These people have adopted the disingenous and fallacious interpretation of the Second Amendment -- that it's purpose to for citizens to have arms so that they can threaten the government with a 2nd American Revolution (e.g. a Civil War) -- in order to keep the government in check. In fact, the "well regulated Militia" in the Second Amendment is now known as the National Guard. And the purpose of the National Guard is to preserve and defend the government, not to overthrow it. This disingenous interpretation of the Second Amendment is anything but orginialism and textualism. It is in direct contradiction to the plain language and thinking of our Founders at the time it was written. 3. The umbrella organization for the millions of Americans who wish to overthrow the government of the United States of America is the Republican Party.
JOHN (PERTH AMBOY, NJ)
Happily this unconstitutional farce is likely to end this weekend. As to "last minute evidence" suddenly "produced" by a California Democrat, I judge it akin to "last minute" evidence found 40 years after the fact against Justice Kavanaugh and last minute votes found at 4 am by Democrats in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin last November. If Democrat politicians acted like real lawyers this way, they'd long be disbarred for suppression of evidence to the defense's prejudice.
Lyndsey Marie (Puget Sound)
There are millions of Americans that disagree with you. As far as I am concerned, Trump should be subpoenaed to testify also. If he refused to show up, arrest him and lock him up. The Senate just voted. 55-45. Looks like even the majority disagrees with you.
JOHN (PERTH AMBOY, NJ)
@Lyndsey Marie Historically, majorities in the Senate also voted for slavery, so I really don't care about majorities but about what's right. BTW, there are also millions of Americans who disagree with you -- so either we build "unity" together or we engage in partisan fights, which is OK with me as long as one side doesn't pretend to call their political trials "justice."
Peter (La Paz, BCS)
What I've learned from the past four years is that my own ego has narcissistic tendencies. That which you react to in others is also in you, and my ego absolutely abhors Trump's personality. Rather than complain about Trump ad nauseam, maybe sharing what has been learned would be a more refreshing perspective. The pesky narcissistic character of the ego is neutralized by giving to others and realizing one is a part of the whole. And it's also important to be aware that the ego will try to use this for it's own expansion. Thank you, Donald.
dan (ny)
Congressional decorum -- which sometimes has its place -- so often gets in the way of plain speaking. In the Senate especially. And that is playing out at its most extreme in this current episode. Because the country and the world really need to hear candor from the decent folk in both houses, about what their indecent colleagues are up to. Tell us that today, your colleagues have brought abject disgrace on themselves, their names and their legacies -- which will consist of this, and solely this. That *this* will never wash off your children's children, except to the extent that they can disown your shame, struggling to somehow separate themselves from that one and only footnote that will spit your name in every textbook. *This* will be the meaning of all your names. I mean, even that would constitute playing footsie, given the sheer scale of what we're witnessing. But it would be something. Because this is pure evil, the next swing of the pendulum will be worse, and we're answerable to *our* children too.
Ron (NJ)
Unfortunately he will be found not guilty at his political trial. Congress is a joke and this process proves they are also the punchline.
Patricka02 (USA)
We are in a very bad place. I think if they are going to acquit Trump for this conduct, then we need to acquit all the people who went into the Capitol on 1/6.
Walter Ingram (Western MD)
People think they are impermeable to demagoguery, especially those that are the most susceptible.
kmgh (Newburyport, MA)
Why not let the coward Republican senators take a private vote like they did in the House with regard to Liz Cheney (but not for Marjorie Greene)? Then, they could vote their conscience, if they still have one, and hold the ex-president accountable—finally!
Brodston (Gretna, Nebraska)
Just keep him from running again. You can't disgrace him or reduce his toxic potential for mayhem in the eyes of his totally besotted minions.
Johnson, R. (NE AR)
I know the NYT cannot make predictions as they might want. But I can state the cold, hard truth for the Congressional republicans. If you fail to hold him accountable, it *will* happen again. And, the next time it will likely be people with fully automatic assault rifles who will barricade themselves in the building, hold live-streaming mock trials and murder everybody who is found guilty, which will be everybody they put on their mock trials because that is what extremists do. That is what they have always wanted to do. Those people and their organizations are enemies of the USA. It's time to round them up and lock them away, permanently hopefully, dependent upon outcome of their trials in an American court of law. But, beyond the extremely obvious evidence, here's a reason Republican Senators need to vote to convict Donald John Trump and bar him from public office: Those could be extremists looking for *Republicans* to 'hang' after the mock trials. Senators, if you won't do what is right and honorable to save America, at least save yourselves.
Chris (Hanover NH)
I just don't know how the Republicans, those who will vote to acquit Trump, can sleep at night. What do they see when they look in the mirror? To acquit Trump of his astounding, negative, evil, and dangerous way of being would drive me to insanity. Maybe that's what these Republicans are - they are plain and simply drunk on insanity. At least in my mind, I know when I'm drunk. I hope, and I pray that these Republicans could see the light of their most grievous miss-steps, to allow this nation a chance to be its better self again. If not, this nation is doomed to a dark and cancerous stain that will never be removed.
Disillusioned (NJ)
But you know that he will not be convicted. You also know that half of America, and most Republican voters, do not value democracy more than the perpetuation of White supremacist rule. A poll cited in another Times article today shows that 55% of Republican voters believe that violence and force are appropriate ways to return our nation to their views of traditional American life. They mean hatred of Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, LGBTQ Americans and anyone else who does not share their social and religious views. We have reached an unbelievable point where half of America would prefer an autocrat who took power by force than an opponent who won a fair election! We must stop focusing on one insane man and figure out how we can deal with an insane nation.
Aaron (Phoenix)
If Trump is acquitted, we’ll have an active insurgency in this country — think IRA, only MAGA. They won’t wait until Trump runs again (and loses), they will start as soon as he—and they—are vindicated by the GOP cowards in Congress and their enablers.
Am Brown (Spain)
Senators need to be the grownups and vote guilty showing the puerile rabble that is Trump's base and, supposedly, the GOP base how to act in a democratic republic.
Jan Marijs (The Netherlands)
Democrates must stack the Supreme Court. Otherwise the USA remains at risk at the next election that the Court will go along with the GOP - lies and will, neglecting the lawfull outcome of the elections, directly or indirectly help a GOP dictator on the "throne" .
unclejake (fort lauderdale)
The Maga lawyers final argument should be be 10 seconds , as Chico said: "You going to believe me or your eyes?"
JJGross (Jerusalem)
We do not need an impeachment process to know that the Times considers Trump guilty. The Times has considered him him guilty since the day he was elected to office and has been, both editorially and by way of its reporting, serving as a battering ram against he Trump presidency for four years.
LMS (Waxhaw, NC)
And thus we see that cowards are made of self-interest, and heroes are made of selflessness.
Josh (NY)
Unfortunately, it may actually be in the best interests of the Republican Senators to vote for acquittal, in keeping with the views of their right-wing constituents who want to ransack public buildings and “burn it all down”. Not only does the Republican rank-and-file want to burn it all down, but so, too, so the wealthy corporate donors to the GOP. Burning Washington D.C. and the federal government to the ground and living in a government-free, tax-free, regulation-free society (with the exception that Christian fundamentalists could outlaw birth control and abortion) is their North Star.
Charlotte Brevard (MIchigan)
To the Editorial Board, Please stop calling Trump adherents "supporters." They are FOLLOWERS. They are indoctrinated and radicalized cult members, and should be referred to as such. Calling them supporters minimizes the horror of what happened at the Capitol.
Mike Alexander (Maryland)
When Joe Biden announced his run for the White House after Charlottesville, he said he was running to,restore the nation’s soul. The people,elected him to do just that. Now, after a “trial” that wasn’t, GOP Senators are about to drive a bloody knife into that soul. Mr. Biden needs to speak up, forcefully, before it’s too late, to ensure that’s the country knows,exactly what is at stake! As should Bush, Obama, Clinton, Colin Powell, and every other leader who has more than a hand full of Twitter, Instagram followers.
Sajid Khan (Ridgefield Park NJ)
Is Trump really guilty? It is sad that we do not see the reality of Trump's mess. Trump has a brilliant mind along with an emotionally challenged brain. Minds presidents have to hire but their own brains need to be emotionally super healthy. As all leadership actions are emotional health actions. Trump is helpless to act any other way but emotionally challenged. His enablers are the ones who are far more guilty. They knowingly covered up and supported every insane move of Trump. There are two essential lessons America needs to learn from this Trump crisis. Insanity must never again be allowed to compete for the White House. Every presidential contender must be vetted for super emotional health all those not passing with flying colors must be barred from competing not only for the White House but also every other public office. America must wake up and take action on the fact that Trump is just the symptom in chief of America's biggest problem. America is the land of the emotionally challenged. The majority is trapped in emotional sickness. Our pure selves are controlled by our emotionally challenged trophy self-images. From the quality of life to economic security, it is all adversely affected. It translates into trillions of dollars of losses. Why do you think 50% of America struggles to make ends meet? They make good money with their well-educated minds but spend it with their miseducated and messed up brains. Emotional health must be the White House's top priority.
bowery187 (New York, NY)
Many of the Republican senators would have welcomed the election to have been illegally overturned and condoned violence to make it happen. That is why they won't convict. The only solution to is rid the nation of these un-Americans is the ballot box.
Beth Glynn (Grove City PA)
How strange that most Republican Congress members were actually hidden away to protect their lives, yet believe totally that nothing of import happened. I wonder if Cruz and his toadies whose names I prefer to forget, including my own Representative, thought those rioters would recognize them, and protect them, when they started attacking their fellows?
Mark K (Dorset)
I think it was Dorothy Thompson who, around 1940, said that fascism would not arrive in America under a flag marked Dictatorship but under a slogan such as America First (or, had it been thought of then, Make America Great Again).
Tom (Mass.)
Trump's followers were after Mike Pence for not changing the Electoral vote on Jan.6th. Pence had no legal or constitutional authority to do any such thing. Where did Trump's people get the idea that he did have that authority? That's right from Donald Trump. Another lie as part of the "Bigger Lie". Of course this is incitement. Every person in the Capital Building was in mortal danger on January 6th. Five people died. Hundreds were injured. This was the biggest political crime in our country's history. Convict this scoundrel. Do your sworn duty.
Blanche White (South Carolina)
This from my crystal ball. We won't have to worry about Trump next election because, if not in jail, he will be in a straight jacket. ...and regardless of where he ends up, it won't matter because Melania, who has recognized that she will "be best" at writing the definitive tell all book that will ensure she will not need some puny pre-nup which she is by now aware is a mirage likely to blow away in the sands of the tax collectors, will reveal all the iniquities of the man who, we told, "You're Fired".
Mark (Idaho)
Of any vote Members of Congress will ever take, this one is at the very core of public trust in them and respect for them. Given the already abysmal sentiment for Congressional performance, the prospect of yet another slap at the Constitution, in this case by Republicans, is unlikely to faze them. It goes back to the adage "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."
Michael Roberts (Ozarks)
Senators refusing to convict are the most extreme example of career over country. Shame on them.
M Harvey (FL)
And what are we to teach our children? Violence is good if they don't get their way? Put downs, ugly language, bigotry all fine? And what becomes of the Republican Party? They have some 'splaining to their voters, no? And future presidents get a Mulligan anytime they want? Iran/Contra seems like child's play now.
Marilyn Mitchell (New York)
To all Republicans out there - I know the vast majority of you would never condone the violence that took place on January 6th. Would you ever allow President Obama to have spread the lies President Trump spread? To never concede the election? To rally his supporters to D.C. and send them to the Capitol to stop the counting of the electoral votes? You'd be livid and you'd demand accountability. Do the same with Trump. January 6th never would have happened without his stoking the flames. He needs to be held accountable.
DM (Space is the Place)
Almost every GOP Senator who’s pledged ahead of the impeachment trial to ignore the case is derelict of their oaths to be an impartial juror. Moreover, they’ve betrayed their oaths to uphold the Constitution. The entire party is now rightfully slimed with the hate-fueled, xenophobic, anti-American worldview of Trump and his sycophantic, grifting cronies.
Covfefe-19 (Columbia MO)
Everything Trump touches dies. The election ensured that it was not our Democracy that will die. The question before the Senate today is whether the GOP dies or is it merely the already deflating bogus mythology of Trumpism that dies?
Eric Hansen (Louisville KY)
Bruce Castor told the Democrats to "Spare us the hypocrisy and false indignation." He is so right. The GOP already has more than enough hypocrisy than it needs, to sink the Republicans, Democrats, Whigs, Federalists and Know-nothings, combined. They don't need any more.
Joaquin (Chicago)
Trump needs to face criminal prosecution for his lies and actions after this second impeachment trial is over.
John Townsend (Mexico)
The GOP is a party in advanced decay which is mirrored in the senate now embracing a fraternity of ambitious brats like Hawley, Cruz, Paul and Cotton. McConnell is hardly the statesman-like minority leader needed to rein them in.
Kev (Montrose, CO)
Let us make stand for ourselves for the republicans don't care for the people, they care for there positions in the senate as well as the house. VOTE THE REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE IN 2022. REMEMBER THIS DAY.
Ronald J Cirignano (Barnegat, NJ)
The only way this divisive, abusive use of federal authority short of outright civil war, not unlike the dreadful war of 1860 -1865 is for the complete dismantling and refutation of the part of Lincoln - the GOP. It is both, sad and ironic that the once virtuous GOP, ( the party created for the freedom of all Americans and a stronger America) is now the party of Trumpism and all his deranged power hungry obsessions. The Trump GOP must go up in flames. Then and only then out of these ashes can a new center-right party with Americanism and the protection and prosperity for all Americans be born. A new party with similarities to the Eisenhower center-right philosophy supporting peace a d prosperity abroad as well as at home as a means to ensure a peaceful, healthy planet. Virtue, Honesty, Pragmatism are currently voided in the Trump GOP.
Steven McCain (New York)
Taking everything else off of the table does The Right realize how this is going to make us look to the world? We love to go around the world waving our finger at other countries telling them how bad they are and how great we are. We love to wear our American Exceptionalism badge on our chest while wearing our Superman Cape. If we were ever on The High Ground we under Trump have lost it. The world looked over our dark past involving human bondage and our current systemic racism because we were good at pretending we were trying to get better. We threw our the line we were striving for a more perfect union and the world believed us. Trump and The Right in four years have pulled the covers off who we really are. From not giving Judge Garland a hearing to pushing Justice Barrett through 8 days ahead of an election. We have shown the world Personality and not Principle rules us. We have shown all stops pulled out to protect statues and buildings from people fighting racial injustice. We have seen no defense put up to White Looters and Insurrectionist who attacked of Capital. One group is called Thugs and Looters while the other is called misguided angry people fighting to take their country back. We have shown Blue Lives only Matter when it is people of color involved. Does anyone believe if the thugs who attacked our Capital were of a different color they would have been allowed to stroll through our Capital like they were on tour? We have allowed a Grifter to bring us to this.
She Who Watches (Columbia River)
Free speech! Free speech! Yes, yes! But freedom comes with the price of RESPONSIBILITY. You cannot LIE and whip a mob into a frenzy with the repetition repetition repetition repetition of those LIES and bear no responsibility for their outcome. We can’t have it both ways in this country. Truth must be part of the package. The GOP sells out this country in the most treasonous way possible with an acquittal of this wanna-be despot that this fragile democracy has ousted. He must be barred from ever disgracing the presidency or the halls of power again.
Chris (Philadelphia)
Trump has been a divider and destroyer from Day One What is sickening is how many Republican leaders have embraced him and allowed him to create such enmity in the nation for political power.
Pierre Gauthier (Montréal)
The man will be acquitted. He will walk out as a ‘normal’ former president. When the time comes, he will receive due respect, with state funerals and perhaps laying in the capitol rotunda. There’s no putting back the toothpaste in the tube after this trial. It marks the collapse of the American Empire. This is beyond the pale.
Joanne (SF Bay Area)
"heir most partisan supporters"...their most partisan and law despising and America despising supporters. He incited an attack on our country, in spite of his extra responsibility, as president, to serve and protect it.
Dan (FL)
The NYT Editorial Board is preaching to the choir. Most Republicans and all MAGAites attend a different church. They’ll never read this editorial let alone the Times. Unless Democrats and Never Trumpers get out, organize and register new voters and recruit independents, Senators like Hawley, Cruz, Graham, Rubio have nothing to fear.
BFW (Nyc)
This evil selfish being has somehow gotten away with behaving in the most deplorable ways all his life. by fluke, or the help of Russia more likely, he was elected to the highest office in our land, and with the help of the complete sickness of the selfish greedy Senate he was able to stay in power for four years and true to form continue to get away with the worst behaviors and decisions one can imagine. So my question is this: why would anyone think that he would be held accountable and punished now? This is a wonderful example of how absolute power absolutely corrupts. I Grieve for the negative lessons children and adolescents are receiving from watching him get away with everything.
rellum00 (NY)
There is no valid excuse to not convict tRump of the presented charges. It wasn't free speech, it wasn't a stolen election, those weren't patriots, and Trump didn't win the election. Your Republican representatives are perpetuating an obvious miscarriage of justice in an attempt to continue to oppress their constitutes and maintain their hold on the wealth of their status. WAKE up RED AMERICA, YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED AGAIN.
David Bible (Houston)
One thing that all Republican Senators need to consider is that a vote to acquit Donald Trump will put themselves in the same category as Senator Ted Cruz. A craven, opportunistic sellout to Trump and Trumpism, who started his Senate career being a pain to his Republican caucus.
Richard Coleman (Washington)
The second coming of the impeachers makes it crystal clear to the world who Donald Trump is. Now the Republican senators are poised to show the world who they are, and what it means to be a Republican today. If you are not already shuddering, please find help.
underdog (MA)
Demagogues are always unmasked. What will the Republican senators that vote to acquit Trump say to their own families when their hollow rationalizations are laid bare and stand in stark contrast to the actions of others like Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, Ralf Raffensperger, Doug Doucey?
D Peers (Ontario)
No he’s not and the NYTimes needs to stop the gaslighting and move on. Someday, when you’re older and wiser, you’re going to understand the role you have played in these dark days of the mainstream media truth meltdown. The threat to our democracies are not individuals like Trump but the concerted efforts of media like the Times to promote intolerance in our civic discourse. Trump did not try to overthrow the government, he used every available means - poorly perhaps - to ascertain election integrity. The legitimacy of the current administration is questioned by a huge percentage of the US population - and also by others around the globe. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. So find your investigative journalism hats and put them back on. The breaking Cuomo scandal is instructive that shenanigans have been pulled by our so-called progressive class in order to undermine the 2020 election. Start digging and stop the whining about Trump.
Louise (Colorado)
I have mailed spines and consciences to 46 GOP senators. But with Louis DeJoy still “serving” as Postmaster General, I don’t think they will arrive in time for the casting of votes.
Tim (Brooklyn)
The Republican senators, who deny the obvious and prefer to protect themselves, will be brought down in the their next election, by the Democrats who will point them out to be the spineless specimens they are. Their victory will be short-lived.
once a blue (Connecticut)
To have any chance to get a conviction President Trump has to be called as a witness.
Ray (Fort Mill, SC)
How would these republicans be voting if the mob had actually gotten ahold of one of their own? What if Pence hadn't escaped? What if Romney had not been turned around by a Capitol police officer? It was just dumb luck that none of them were injured or killed. But it was "only" officer Brian Sicknick of the Capitol Police who died. No big deal, right? These cowardly republican senators are holding the doors open for a similar act of violence if they do not convict trump for inciting this seditious mob. Our children are watching. The world is watching. The voters are watching.
Sbaty (Alexandria, VA)
And he still gets acquitted. American justice for all the world to see. And this is the place that people want to run to to escape their own horrible Governments? Humorous.
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
"Mr. Trump whipped his loyalists into a rage, summoned them to Washington, pointed them at Congress and then retreated to the safety of the White House to enjoy the show." Of course he'll do it again, given the chance. A lot can happen in 4 years, but one thing we know: when someone as perverse, ill tempered, and shameless as the former president keeps getting away with murder, why on earth does anyone think he would stop?
IN (NY)
Trump is guilty. His defense was amateurish, incoherent, rambling, inflammatory and riddled with lies and deliberate falsehoods. The House Prosecutors proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Trump’s often repeated lie that he won the 2020 election in a great landslide and that it was stolen from him was the fuel that inspired the insurrection. He arranged for the January 6 rally, gave them a late permit to march to the Capitol, knew that his mob had violent elements like the Proud Boys, and then encouraged them with his anger and grievance to march and fight with strength. He even told them he was marching with them. He then watched the insurrection on television with apparent glee and allowed it to go on for hours without doing anything to stop it. His true malevolent nature and callousness revealed itself as he exposed his VP, all the members of Congress to harm and did nothing. If the Republicans don’t convict this corrupt and contemptible man for his deranged and nefarious conduct, they must suffer the political consequences and never hold any public office again. After this trial, Trump and all his collaborators must be thoroughly investigated for their criminal activities and should expect indictments for sedition. In my opinion, Trump should expect to be the first President to spend the rest of his life behind bars. His damage to our democracy is that great. His legacy will be this insurrection and its desecration of our Capitol.
ashamedofus (Tennessee)
"Trump Is Guilty" ............ and it matters not because McConnell is soulless.
A (Reader)
If a president refuses to concede, even after all state results were audited, and the Supreme Court rules, he should be impeached. That he persisted in stoking the BIG LIE is sedition. It doesn’t matter if he himself didn’t engage in insurrection. Anyone who would not impeach for this is unAmerican and only in the senate for their own skin and power. So shameful.
BC (NJ)
The defense made its case and destroyed the argument for impeachment. They also exposed the Democrats for the hypocrites they are. The Democrats are guilty of enabling and encouraging deadly violent riots over the summer.
David Esrati (Dayton Ohio)
To vote not to impeach is treason, and the senators should be held to that standard. They also swore an oath.
T H Beyer (Toronto)
History will note their names: Republicans who stubbornly chose party over country. They are as seditious as Trump and it will haunt them.
Jai (Ann arbor)
Where is Stephen Miller in all this.He wrote a lot of Trumps incendiary material.
Christy (WA)
Any senator who votes to acquit Trump should remove the title "Honorable" from his or her name.
Ryan Biggs (Boston, MA)
No one who partners with Trump or helps Trump in any way doesn’t get burned. If you have Trump’s back, he will stab you in yours. Ask Michael Cohen, Omarosa, Giuliani, Mike Pense, and the Jan.6 crowds he invited, incited, and then threw under the bus. Do republicans imagine that Trump will leave them alone after this? I look forward to seeing him trash their Primary in four years, but it won’t take that long for Trump to betray them. Just watch,
Bgeat (Boston)
Michael Cohen warned them in his hearing saying something like, “For ten years I did the same thing you’re doing and look where it got me.” They all think they’re smarter than him and the rest of us.
Carole (Southeast USA)
If Republicans don’t convict this ex-president it’s over for them. Never again should they falsely swear the oath of allegiance to our constitution. Their allegiances are to violence and mob insurrection. No American should fear going to work or living in our society, and have fellow ‘Americans’ threatening their very lives. These impostors need to be voted out of office or removed immediately.
Hattie Goodman (Boston, MA)
Thank you for reminding everyone Donald J. Trump is the former president.
Eric Cosh (Phoenix, Arizona)
All of us have one thing in common; “Free Will!” We are NOT robots, although at times, that’s hard to believe! Many of us really NEED someone or something to explain Truth versus Falsehood. That’s why so many times Trumps attorneys have been able to divert Facts & Truth into Falsehoods and Delusions. Trump will NOT be convicted. That’s a FACT! The Republican Party is like an Evergreen Tree. Inside it’s already DEAD, but the outside still shows GREEN, at least for awhile. In the end, Truth always wins, even if many times that isn’t immediately apparent. The America I was born into in 1938 in an Evergreen!
Barbara (Miami)
I do believe it would be important for us to hear Sen. McCarthy speak as witness to Trump's comment on the rioters.
JPH (USA)
It is called "Freedom ". You don't get it. It is the Free world .
Bradley (Lakewood, Ohio)
That he'll skate in Senate trial is a given. That he'll spend the rest of his life fighting in the courts should be evident as well. What should also be evident to these senators in denial is that Trump will be unelectable to anything again. And perhaps that's what he wants, to be a mob boss lying in the background, calling the shots. In some ways that's even more chilling.
tuatara (Houston)
I live in Texas and have no expectation that my state's senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, will vote to convict. Cornyn is moderately more principled than Cruz, though the bar is comically low. The only recourse we have as voters is to work to oust these lickspittle politicians who are in thrall to Trump's base and terrified of angering it.
MIMA (heartsny)
When murderous thugs take precedence over our democracy, obviously incited by the president because he called on the thugs, did not do anything to stop the thugs, even told the thugs he loved them, they were special - and a party’s legislature thinks that is perfectly ok - good-by to those legislators. Fact is, we don’t need the Republican naysayers. We don’t want the Republican naysayers. They have had the means to be decent, to stand for us, to stand for their fellow legislators. And to throw that means away, and by supporting Trump - we are done with those Republicans. I got a kick out of all the “fight” presentations by the defense. They tried to make us feel that “fight” for our country equated with ransacking, murdering, violently frightening legislators. When your high school cheerleaders are or were out on the floor, calling on your team audience to “fight” - are or were those cheerleaders calling on physical destruction, maiming, violent murdering of their opponents? Think! It’s time to move on all right - to move on without every single legislator that stands with Donald Trump. Trump betrayed our forefathers - he betrayed the presidency - he betrayed us. Vote those that have given the ok to Donald Trump right out of their Capitol office. They have no place in that sacred building.
Emma (MA)
I reject the claim that the President of the United States has a First Amendment right to lie to "We the People". He has a Fiduciary responsibility to tell us the truth. Trump's lies that the Coronavirus was a Democrat hoax no more dangerous than the flu was a clear and present danger. Trump's constantly repeated Big lie that he won the November 3, 2020 election by a landslide and that everybody knows it was a clear and present danger to the peaceful transfer of power. He used his Big Lie to extort election officials and members of Congress and the Vice President and to incite his supporters to sedition.
JD (Florida)
Keep the trial open, call witnesses! Why? -complete the record, and further kick the legs out from under the defense -keep the pressure on the Republicans’ plausible deniability, more will crack -keep Trump underwater -the passage of time = more facts, every hour we have new revelations -time to investigate things like reports Republicans are afraid to convict for fear of their personal safety - now Trump’s terrorists are in control of the Senate!?!
NavyDeplorable (Maryland)
What about VP Harris, President Joe, Rep Maxime Waters, Hillary Clinton? They get a free pass while President Trump is held to a different standard. I want Trump to be held accountably, but I also wish all the other inflamed rabble-rousers in Government were held accountable. Sadly no one in DC or the most elite Government is accountable. Just look at NY and their great Governor right in your back yard. How many people lives destroyed.. How about the dead old people?
Mary (Sampson)
I agree Cuomo should be held accountable. But what did Clinton, Harris, Biden, Waters, etc do that could be, in the least, comparable to Trump? Nothing!
asch (NYC)
Your comment equates to a fig leaf of false equivalency. Where did refuse to acknowledge the winner of an election? Where did they rule up their base to the point of them storming the Capitol and actually killing people?
Steven (Va)
We all want politicians to be held accountable. This is a false argument. I am tired of “team” politics. We all are. This is where Trump was supposed to “empty the swamp”. Remember ? Instead he filled it to the brim with cronies and followers. We are Americans, not Democrats and Republicans. Trump is the King pin of worst politician. If you cant hold him accountable how many more will use this as a precedent.
HoodooVoodooBlood (San Francisco, CA)
But for Trump, there would have been no deadly assault on Congress. Any 5th grader knows this. I hope the Republican Senate grows the backbones it needs to cut Trump loose.
Jack Sonville (Florida)
Republicans voted to impeach Bill Clinton for having sex in the Oval Office and lying about it. Yet they won't impeach Trump for four years of inciting violence and hatred, refusing to accept the results of an election after 60 failed lawsuits, then inciting a mob to violence and then, when he knew they were laying waste to the Capital (because he was speaking to Republicans who were there on the phone), did not lift a finger to help--not even by sending in the National Guard, and not even to help his own Vice President, who was there. He was the Commander in Chief and let an insurrectionist mob attack the Capital and the Senators and Congress people in it. Apparently Ken Starr's report aroused Republicans more than an actual attack on our democracy and governmental leaders.
dave (Mich)
Any legislators who doesn't vote to impeach must hate being a legislator and hate the legislative branch of government and pines to be a an autocrat.
MPM (Dayton)
Anyone that expects Republicans to "do the right" thing hasn't paid attention since Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. The Republican Party is complicit in the violence on January 6th. They are not the party of Liz Cheney and certainly not of Ronald Reagan or Lincoln. They are fully committed to the conspiracy nuts and religious fanatics. They have no moral authority and we need to stop being surprised when they fail to live up to the lowest of bars. Stop trying to kick Lucy's football. We know how this ends.
Ellwood Nonnemacher (Pennsylvania)
The "Disciples Of The Donald" (formerly the GOP) believe nothing he does is wrong and will let him go free as a bird. Perhaps the "real world" legal system without the office of the president will do what our elected representatives won't do, try, convict, and imprison!
Robert Roth (NYC)
Though so much would need to change I keep wondering how restorative justice would look when applied to Ted Cruz. Josh Hawley. Rand Paul, Ron Johnson,Lindsey Graham and all the rest. In the meantime, in a way somewhat contradicting myself, I hope that the Times doesn't start publishing "I was wrong" op-eds by these people. Not that that is going to happen anytime soon.
dsa (nj)
Word is - again, from CNN - that McCarthy could not even get that which he flew to Florida to acquire: Trump's DONOR list. Think about that: the Minority House Leader (1) watches as Trump's Mob is breaking into his own office YIKES (2) reaches Trump by phone - only to find himself arguing with the President that the Mob is not "Antifa" - but Trump's supporters (3) is humiliated to hear "maybe they care more about the election than you do, Kevin" (4) screams at the President- apparently to try and get his help (Natl Guard?) - yet clearly unsuccessful This conversation alone makes clear that the President has chosen not to help keep Congress safe from his own supporters. (State Of Mind being a necessary part of incitement) BUT more to the point of this Editorial- McCarthy debases himself further: (5) He swallows what pride he has left & flies to Mar-A-Lago (6) He swallows his pride even further for pics (!) - were that possible - and it is ALL in an apparent attempt to acquire the Trump DONOR list. Surprise! McCarthy is not successful. He wasted the remnants of his soul, thereby proving this Editorial's point: "Once again, Mr. Trump has played his most devoted supporters for suckers."
Barb Casino (Northshore IL)
And McConnell just said he’ll vote to acquit. I’m with whoever said all the Congress people who right after the riot were screaming that Trump was wrong should be impeached themselves. And those attorneys who literally copied every deflection Trump used in his four miserable years in office (“it’s antifa “,”it was a perfect phone call”) are disgraceful.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Barb Casino Was there every any doubt that Mitch McConnell would vote to acquit?
OrangeHOWELL (Manhattan)
“If you fail to hold him accountable, it can happen again.” Rewrite: Republican Senators need to vote to convict and hold former President Trump accountable to set precedence for democracy to prevail. #LEGACY
Buddesatva (Stl)
Of course he is guilty, in this case and well beyond it. The game, the lesson, the horrible fact we must all surrender to is that the men and women we have elected are publicly choosing to surrender honor and integrity for the approval of most degenerate people in our country. This is where we are. Comically, they will IN FACT abandon them in coming elections. They are perfectly represented by Trump. He embodies what they are.
SB (Berkeley)
It isn’t only that Republican senators are fearful—they are asserting a set of values with their support of Trump: the use of force over democratic means; adherence to a pecking order over equality (that is racially, economically, and gender biased); truth is immaterial, a means to an end. As Democrats, we’ve suffered in trying to understand how Republicans “betray their principles”—there are no principles, just that might is right. Watching Van Der Veen, who was utterly dismissive of the House managers, and talking and gesturing like a mobster—who they are is who they’ve been, a crime family defended by criminals on behalf of a corrupt Republican party.
John (Hartford)
This is an open and shut case. The defense's presentation yesterday would never have been allowed in a real court. Lies, misrepresentation and whataboutism. The problem is the Republican party has chosen to ally itself with the most violent and extreme elements on the right.
Latest
See also